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Suspects Plead Not Guilty In New Jersey ‘Baby Bones’ Case

Baby Bones Composite (credit: National Center For Missing & Exploited Children and New Jersey State Police,file)

Baby Bones Composite (credit: National Center For Missing & Exploited Children and New Jersey State Police,file)

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FREEHOLD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three New York City residents pleaded not guilty Monday to charges stemming from the 2002 death of a 9-year-old girl whose remains were found in central New Jersey three years later.

The girl’s aunt — Likisha Jones, 39; and her husband, Godfrey Gibson, 48; both of Manhattan, and the girl’s uncle, James Jones, 35 of Brooklyn – entered their pleas Monday in Monmouth County, N.J.

They were charged with counts of hindering apprehension of another, tampering with physical evidence, obstruction and conspiracy to commit those crimes.

The investigation came to be known as the “Baby Bones” case after burned, skeletal remains were found by a hunter in the woods not far from the Six Flags amusement park in Upper Freehold Township in 2005.

Officials used DNA to identify the remains as 9-year-old Jon-Niece Jones. Prosecutors said she died at the Harlem home of her aunt Likisha Jones after years of abuse and neglect by her mother, Elisha Jones.

Elisha Jones died in December 2002.

Authorities said James Jones was the child’s uncle and Gibson was the aunt’s boyfriend. Prosecutors said James Jones and Gibson disposed of the 9-year-old’s body in Upper Freehold Township after lighting it on fire.

The case gained national attention in 2009 when it was featured on “America’s Most Wanted.”

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