3 arrested 7 years after finding child skeleton in New Jersey

The three defendants in court 
By: David Ross 

Three were finally arrested and charged, seven years after a child skeleton was found near Six Flags Great Adventure.

Seven years ago, a hunter in Upper Freehold, New Jersey, discovered the skeleton of a child.

Her body had been burned and abandoned in a wooded area, leaving little clues about her identity.

For years, she remained anonymous to the local authorities. She was only known as Baby Bones, a girl with a short and cruel life that ended in the cruelest way. Before turning into a cold case, police pledged to bring justice to those who were responsible.

Wednesday, over 10 years after her death, the Office of the Monmouth County Prosecutor and the New Jersey State Police, announced the arrest of three residents of New York, on charges related to her death.

Now, this girl has a name: Jon-Niece Jones.

The Monmouth County authorities said that the 9-year-old Jon-Niece, who was identified through a DNA profile, died on August 15, 2002, at the home of her aunt in Harlem, Likisha Jones.

The death of Jon-Niece came after years of abuse by her mother, Elisha Jones, who later died in 2002 due to medical complications, authorities said without elaborating.

Likisha Jones, 39, of Manhattan, the girl's uncle, James Jones, 35, of Brooklyn, and the aunt's boyfriend, Godfrey Gibson, 48, of Manhattan, were arrested at their homes on Wednesday, and charged with hindering the apprehension of another, hiding of physical evidence, obstructing justice and conspiracy, authorities said.

"These arrests highlight the tireless efforts of detectives during the investigation of seven years," State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said in a statement.

"Members of the family of Jon-Niece Jones turned a blind eye to the constant physical and mental abuse this girl suffered for years," he said.

After Jon-Niece died, her mother and the two men threw her body away in Upper Freehold after setting her on fire, authorities said.