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Discovery of 9-Year-Old’s Remains in Upper Freehold Yields Charges

Three New York residents have been charged in connection with child's 2002 death.

The remains of 9-year-old Jon-Niece Jones needed a DNA test to identify her.

Some seven years after the discovery of a child’s skeleton in the Clayton Park area of Upper Freehold, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) has announced charges against three New York residents in connection with her death.

Likisha Jones, 39, of Manhattan; James Jones, 35, of Brooklyn; and Godfrey Gibson, 48, of Manhattan were arrested on Tuesday and charged with hindering the apprehension, tampering with physical evidence, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy, according to a press release issued by the MCPO. Gibson was also charged with a separate hindering count.

Prosecutors say the Harlem girl, born Sept. 5, 1992, suffered years of abuse and neglect at the hands of her mother, Elisha Jones. An investigation conducted by the MCPO and the New Jersey State Police found that Jones died on Aug. 15, 2002 in the apartment of her aunt, Likisha Jones.

Prosecutors say the child’s mother, her uncle, James Jones, and Likisha Jones’ boyfriend, Godfrey Gibson, brought her body to Upper Freehold Township and disposed of the remains after setting them on fire. Elisha Jones died of medical disease in December 2002, the press release stated.

On March 18, 2005, a hunter discovered a partially buried skull and jawbone near County Road 526 in the park, prosecutors said. The MCPO and State Police began a homicide investigation after the child’s skeleton was recovered. Jones’ homicide is being review by the New York County District Attorney’s Office, according to the press release. The investigation came to be referred to as the “Baby Bones” case, prosecutor’s said.

"These arrests highlight the tireless efforts of detectives during this seven-year investigation," said Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the State Police, in the press release. "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."

Likisha Jones and James Jones are being held in Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $40,000 bail. Gibson’s bail has been set at $75,000.

The New York Police Department Manhattan North Homicide Squad, the New York City Administration of Child Services, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, America’s Most Wanted, and the University of North Texas DNA Laboratory assisted in the investigation.

Brian Sullivan October 10, 2012 at 04:30 PM
This bit of news is bitter sweet. I work at that park. This case was featured on "America's Most Wanted" with John Walsh, who did visit and film at Clayton park. I am glad this little girl at least got her name back. I will pray for her soul and that justice will be served.
webby October 10, 2012 at 08:36 PM
I just wanted to say THANK YOU for all your hard work! Rest in peace Jon-Niece, I am so sorry you had to endure so much pain in your short life.
NLP October 11, 2012 at 03:16 AM
I hope she gets a proper memorial now that she has been identified.
mjmjr October 13, 2012 at 04:41 PM
just shoot them
Diane Kay October 16, 2012 at 04:56 PM
So sorry for that Baby,may she rest in peace. I'm so angry with those ugly ugly people who did this. I hope that justice will pervail over them. I'm with mjmjr shoot em!!!!!

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