The case against Monique Lynch and Hanif Sims, who were returned to Colorado from Nevada after contractors discovered the body of Sims's nine-year-old daughter, Genesis, in the basement of a Monument home where they once lived, was already shocking. But a just-released document only ups the ante.
It seems that Genesis may have been buried alive after being beaten for soiling herself -- and lingering in agony for two days.
The Monique Lynch arrest warrant notes that on May 14, the Monument Police Department were called to a unit at 764 Century Place in regard to a body found in the crawlspace by contractors replacing a sump pump. The corpse was about thirty inches down in a trash bag pulled over a second bag made of burlap.
The medical examiner determined that the victim was between seven and ten years of age, weighed about 43 pounds, and wore socks, jeans, underwear, a T-shirt and "a friendship-type wristband" on her left wrist. Her state of decay was so advanced that the coroner's office couldn't immediately be sure she was African-American.
Before long, cops determined that Monique Lynch and Hanif Sims had lived in the home between November 2008 and February 2009. They had two kids -- Devon Lynch and Genesis Sims. Devon was subsequently tracked down in foster care; he said he'd last seen Genesis in 2008 on her birthday. He was later told she'd been shipped back to New Jersey to live with her biological mother, the affidavit says.
Devon also identified the burlap bag as the type Lynch used for laundry.
At that point, the search for Lynch and Sims intensified -- but authorities weren't the first to find them. Instead, the credit goes to KRDO reporter Tak Landrock, who tracked them down via a Facebook page. Lynch had told him she'd returned to her home after a visit with a friend to find Sims dead in a shower. She added that Sims had performed CPR on her, but it was too late. So they had a "memorial service" for the girl and buried her in the crawlspace. Lynch "said she had left flowers on the grave," the affidavit notes.
But after Lynch and Sims were arrested in Henderson, Nevada on outstanding warrants, Sims gave detectives a very different account.
On the day of Genesis's death, the affidavit states, "Genesis Sims 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."
After that, Sims says he went to the store to buy some cigarettes -- and upon his return, he found Lynch and Genesis in the bathtub. Genesis was dead, he said.
Lynch denied that, according to the affidavit, branding Sims a "liar." She stuck to the shower story, and maintained that she hadn't called the cops because they're "racist."
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The next day, Sims was re-interviewed, and his story shifted yet again, the affidavit says. This time, Genesis was still breathing shallowly when he returned to the home -- so he told Monique to call 911. However, "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." Sims admitted he believed "that if medical had responded when they should have called, Genesis would be alive today."
And then, the affidavit's capper:
Hanif Sims stated that he and Monique Sims stayed in a bedroom with a shallow breathing Genesis Sims for two days before Monique Lynch placed the victim into the multi-colored burlap bag, then placed that bag into a black trash bag.
Hanif Sims stated that he carried the bag into the crawl space, where he and Monique together dug the hole that the body was buried in. Hanif Sims never provided that the victim stopped her shallow breathing prior to being placed in the bag and buried.
Lynch has been charged with first-degree murder, while Sims is facing allegations of concealing a body and tampering with evidence. He faces up to 51 years in prison.