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New Jersey authorities arrested and charged a couple after a toddler’s disappearance went unreported for three years.
Matthew Chiles, 29, is charged with killing the girl — one of his girlfriend’s two twin 5-year-old daughters — in 2019 when she was just a toddler.
The Edison, New Jersey, Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) contacted the Edison Police Department on July 26 to conduct a welfare check on Durham’s girls, and after speaking to the mother, local law enforcement and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office began a joint investigation.
“As a result of that joint investigation, it was determined that one of the 5-year-old girls was missing,” the prosecutor’s office said in a press release.
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Investigators later determined that “no family or friends had seen the child since 2019,” according to the prosecutor’s office.
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Authorities also believe Chiles “engaged in conduct resulting in the missing child’s death in 2019, and illegally disposed of the child’s remains,” the press release continued.
Chiles also faces charges of two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, one count of second-degree desecration of human remains and one count of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors have also charged the girls’ mother, Monique Durham, with two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of third-degree theft, according to the prosecutor’s office.
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The pair is in custody at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center pending a detention hearing on Friday.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact Perth Amboy Police Department at (732) 442-4400, Edison Police Department at (732) 248-7400 or the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3927.