Updated: August 4, 2010 at 12:00 am
A 7-year-old girl whose decomposed body was found in the basement of a Monument home in May had been beaten with a belt for soiling herself and then allowed to linger near death for two days before possibly being buried alive, an arrest affidavit states.
Monique Lynch was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of Genesis Sims. Lynch faces a possible life sentence.
Lynch and the girl’s father, Hanif Sims, were arrested in early July after months on the run. Both initially were accused of child abuse resulting in death.
Sims still faces that charge along with concealing a body and tampering with evidence and faces up to 51 years in prison. Lynch also has been charged with child abuse resulting in death, concealing a body and tampering with evidence.
The cause of the girl’s death has not been determined, but if it is eventually ruled a homicide, it could be the first ever in Monument, authorities have said.
According to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office arrest affidavit, Monique Lynch allegedly beat Genesis with a belt because the girl had soiled herself, then the couple let her linger for two days without getting her medical help. Genesis may have still been alive when Sims and Lynch placed her in a plastic bag and buried her in the basement, the affidavit states.
The affidavit gave the following account of Genesis’ death:
“Hanif Sims told sheriff’s Detective (Ralph) Losasso that on the day of her death, Genesis had soiled herself and Monique Lynch became upset and began beating her with a belt. Hanif said he told Monique to stop, she had disciplined Genesis enough.
"Monique then took Genesis upstairs to clean her up.”
Sims then left to buy cigarettes returning about a half hour later to find Lynch in the bathroom with Genesis in the tub.
“Hanif Sims said Monique Lynch was yelling at Genesis, telling her to get her ass up and quit faking. Hanif said he picked Genesis up and took her to the bed and gave her mouth to mouth because she didn’t seem to be breathing. Hanif said it appeared Genesis was breathing, but shallow.
“According to Hanif Sims, he told Monique to call 911, but that Monique told him no because she was wanted on a warrant for her arrest and she was pregnant with another child and could not afford to go to jail. Hanif admitted to detectives that he believed that if medical had responded when they should have called, Genesis would be alive today."
Hanif told the detective that he and Lynch stayed in a bedroom with a shallow-breathing Genesis for two days before placing her in a bag, digging a hole and burying her, the affidavit stated.
Lynch and Sims are each being held in the El Paso County jail on $500,000 bond. Kathleen Walsh, spokesperson for the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors will be requesting that Lynch be held without bond. Their next court date is Aug 12.
The couple was arrested in Henderson, Nev., after months on the run and brought back to Colorado in early July.
Genesis’ remains were found May 14 by construction workers renovating the town home in the 700 block of Century Place in Monument where Sims and Lynch and two children had lived.
The girl’s identity was determined by DNA tests and authorities in several states, including California and the couple’s home state of New Jersey, began searching for them.
According to Lewis-Palmer School District 38 records, Genesis was enrolled in the second grade for about six weeks, but was removed to be home-schooled.
After moving out of the Monument town home, Lynch and Sims are believed to have gone to California, where they lived at the Union Rescue Mission homeless shelter in Los Angeles from March until December.
A few days before they were caught, News Channel 13 reported that the couple contacted the station and denied killing Genesis, claiming they had found her lifeless in the bathtub and buried her in the basement.
When Genesis’ body was discovered in mid-May, news of Monique Lynch’s possible involvement came as a shock to her sister, Cassandra Lynch.
“We know her and it’s very hard for us to accept what the media is saying about her,” Cassandra Lynch said. “She could not hurt a child, she just couldn’t. It’s not in her.”
Cassandra Lynch said her sister, formerly of Newark, N.J., has been with Sims for about three years, though the two never married while living in New Jersey.
They both had children when their relationship began, and eventually had a child together after moving away from Colorado.
Monique Lynch entered the relationship with a son, Davon, who is now about 13. Hanif had Genesis, whose mother, Jopetia Garretson, still lives in New Jersey.
They moved to Colorado around December 2008, she said, to “start a new life and give her son a better chance of growing up because things in the neighborhood were getting out of control and too violent,” Cassandra Lynch said.
While living at the homeless shelter in Los Angeles, Monique Lynch was featured in a promotional video for the shelter holding her and Sims’ newborn son. Both the older son and infant were left with friends and then placed with relatives after the couple left the homeless shelter and went on the run.
“The only thing I have to say is I’m hurting right now,” Garretson said Wednesday. “I was expecting that they would be saying that about her (Genesis’) dad right away, not so much her (Lynch).”
“If they say she’s guilty of that, then I have to go by that,” Garretson said. “But I think they both have something to do with it one way or another.”
Garretson said she still hasn’t received Genesis’ body and wants it back soon.
“I don’t think it’s right for them to be holding on to her like that, I don’t think it’s right,” she said. “Me and her sisters have to suffer because we can’t have her.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been changed to reflect the correct age of Genesis Sims.