Prosecutors announced the arrests of three people in connection with the 2002 death of a 9-year-old Harlem girl, whose remains were found in a New Jersey park in 2005.
During the investigation, which came to be known as the "Baby Bones" case, DNA testing revealed that the remains were those of Jon-Niece Jones, who died in August of 2002 in her Aunt Likisha Jones' home in Harlem, after years of abuse and neglect by her mother Elisha Jones, police said.
With the help of the girl's uncle James Jones, of Brooklyn, and her aunt's boyfriend Godfrey Gibson, of Manhattan, investigators determined her mother lit the girl's body on fire and disposed of her in Upper Freehold Township.
Elisha Jones died from a medical illness in December 2002, prosecutors said.
A hunter discovered the girl's skeletal remains in Clayton Park in March of 2005. Over the years the case gained national attention. In 2009, detectives appeared on "America's Most Wanted" to ask the public for help identifying the remains.
On Wednesday, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office charged Lakisha Jones, 39, James Jones, 35, and Gibson, 48 with third-degree hindering the apprehension of another, fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence, fourth degree obstructing the administration of justice, and conspiracy to commit the aforementioned crimes. Gibson was also charged with a separate hindering count. Bail was set at $40,000 for Likisha Jones and James Jones, and $75,000 for Gibson.
“These arrests highlight the tireless efforts of detectives during this seven year investigation,” said Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police Colonel Rick Fuentes. “The family members of Jon-Niece Jones turned a blind eye to the constant physical and mental abuse this young girl endured for years. Because of the hard work by investigators, these three suspects will now have to answer for their alleged unthinkable actions.”