The aunt and uncle of the slain 9-year-old girl in the internationally known “Baby Bones” case have been charged, along with another man, in connection with her murder more than 10 years ago.
Jon-Niece Jones died in her aunt’s New York house in August 2002 after sustained abuse, authorities said. Her uncle and aunt’s boyfriend then set her body on fire and disposed of the remains in Upper Freehold Township, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said.
“The family members of Jon-Niece Jones turned a blind eye to the constant physical and mental abuse this young girl endured for years,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the State Police. “Because of the hard work by investigators, these three suspects will now have to answer for their alleged unthinkable actions.”
The aunt, 39-year-old Likisha Jones; the uncle, 35-year-old James Jones of Brooklyn and Likisha Jones’s boyfriend, Godfrey Gibson, 48, of Manhattan, are all in custody in connection with the horrific crime, which drew national attention when it appeared on “America’s Most Wanted” in March 2009.
They were being held in Monmouth County earlier today on charges of hindering apprehension, evidence tampering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. Gibson also was charged with a separate hindering count.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is investigating.
Gramiccioni said Elisha Jones, who has since died, abused and neglected Jon-Niece Jones at their Harlem home for years.
Three years ago, New Jersey State Police created billboards and flyers they hoped would help identify the girl after a deer hunter walking through a Monmouth County park near Six Flags Great Adventure found a partially buried skull and jaw bone.
State Police Forensic Anthropologist Donna Fontana determined she was 5 to 9 years old when she was murdered and burned, perhaps as far back as 2001.
Four months before the billboards, “America’s Most Wanted” aired a segment on the case that included a facial reconstruction ( photo above ) by Frank Bender, who is renowned for such work.
Bender, you may recall, led police to longtime fugitive John List, who killed his mother, wife and three children in 1971 in Westfield before beginning a new life elsewhere. The resemblance was so accurate, calls came in from around Richmond, Va., where List had assumed a new identity as an accountant.
State Police put Bender’s reconstruction on billboard and flyers, along with information about the gruesome March 18, 2005 discovery.
The New York Division of Clear Channel Outdoor advertising donated six billboards that remained up in the North Jersey for a week. A similar billboard was on display on Route 130 in Bordentown.
Citizens and church volunteers helped State Police distribute flyers in Trenton. A producer from “America’s Most Wanted” also returned to New Jersey to record an update.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.