Custodial dad HANIF SIMS says he and the step just found his 9-year-old daughter dead in the shower, so naturally, like any parent would have done under the circumstances, they dumped her body (er, had a "basement burial") in their former home's crawl space.
Show of hands, please. Does anybody actually believe this line of bull?
And why was this father able to gain custody in New Jersey and retain it despite his record of child abuse?
Couple: We Buried 9-Year-Old Girl In Basement
Father, Girlfriend Says They Found Genesis Sims Dead In Shower
Alan Gathright, 7NEWS Content Producer
POSTED: 10:29 am MDT July 7, 2010
UPDATED: 11:53 am MDT July 7, 2010
MONUMENT, Colo. -- A couple has admitted to a local television station that they buried their 9-year-old daughter in the basement crawl space of a Monument home, saying they found her dead in the shower.
The sheriff's office on Tuesday confirmed that the body found in the home on May 14 by workers renovating the vacant home is Genesis Sims.
Genesis' biological father, Hanif Sims, and her stepmother, Monique Lynch, gave an exclusive telephone interview to KRDO reporter Tak Landrock on Tuesday, saying they wanted to share their side of the story before turning themselves in to police.
"I don't want to be labeled as no murderer," said Lynch. "I just want to be able to get a fair chance to tell my side of the story."
Lynch said she and Sims are currently in Los Angeles.
El Paso County sheriff's detectives have issued an arrest warrant for Sims. He is wanted for child abuse causing bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon.
Lynch said she found the girl lying in the running shower after the couple returned home from dropping by a neighbor's house for about 10 minutes.
“She was just lying there,” Lynch said about that December day.
"She wasn't under no water or nothing like that. The shower was still running and she was just lying there," the girlfriend said.
"If she slipped in the tub, I would've saw something --- a knot or something. I didn't see anything. All I saw was Genesis lifeless," Lynch added.
The girlfriend said they couldn't find a pulse and the girl had turned blue.
"My husband tried to give her mouth to mouth…but she was blue," Lynch said.
They laid the girl's body on a bed in the master bedroom.
"We just sat there and stared at her for at least two days," Lynch said, describing their state as "just totally unbelievable shock."
Then the couple decided to bury the girl in the basement.
"We put flowers. We prayed," Lynch said of the basement burial.
"The only thing ... is really that society says we have to inform you or call the police and tell them that something happen to our child or whatever."
The station said it interviewed Hanif Sims, too. But only Lynch's recorded comments were aired Tuesday night.
KRDO said it will air the couple's explanation for why they didn't call authorities at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
The station said investigators are interested in KRDO's interviews with the couple.
Neighbors have told 7NEWS the couple said Genesis had been sent to live with an aunt back east.
CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia uncovered in late May that New Jersey authorities had previously investigated a complaint that Hanif Sims was physically and emotionally abusing Genesis. Sources confirmed that New Jersey child protection authorities filed a neglect and dependency case against Genesis’ father.
Sources told Ferrugia that the father was putting the child's own feces and mouse droppings in her backpack before sending her to school. The father told authorities it was to “teach her a lesson.”
New Jersey officials were about to take Genesis away from the couple, but they moved to Colorado. The details of the New Jersey actions were reported to El Paso County, but it is unclear why El Paso County did not act.
There was also an Oct. 2, 2008, complaint of abuse against Genesis’ father in El Paso County. According to sources, a child protection worker went to the house and interviewed two children there. Genesis told the worker she wasn’t supposed to talk about her parents and her brother also said nothing.
The complaint was deemed “inconclusive” and El Paso County officials did not open a case.
Sims and Lynch eventually left Colorado for Southern California, where officials have said they've become homeless. Investigators have been unable to locate them.
KRDO said it confirmed that the couple that called the TV station was Hanif Sims and Monique Lynch, because the pair knew information the station has uncovered about the case that authorities have not made public.
July 6, 2010: Positive Identification Made On Dead Child; Parents Sought
May 27, 2010: NJ Officials Reported Abuse Of Monument Child
May 25, 2010: Couple Sought In Child's Death Said To Be Homeless
May 21, 2010: Police Seek Couple Who Lived In Home Where Girl's Body Found
May 19, 2010: Autopsy: Child In Crawl Space Was 7- To 10- Year-Old Girl
May 16, 2010: Still Little Known About Child Found Dead In Monument
May 15, 2010: Toddler's Body Found In Vacant Monument Home