Jul 7, 2010 5:43 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Authorities seek father of dead Monument child

Two arrest warrants have been issued for the father of a little girl whose body was found in the crawl space of a Monument home on May 14.

El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Lt. Lari Sevene told NewsFirst5 that Hanif Sims is wanted on charges of assault and child abuse. That warrant was issued on June 4. At that time the remains had not been positively identified as belonging to Genesis Sims, who would now be nine years old.  According to Sevene, this was the result of an "independent portion of the investigation."  Details of that arrest warrant are sealed, pending the arrest of Sims.  Monique Lynch is also listed as a person of interest in the case. 

The body was positively identified by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation as Genesis Sims, who would have been nine years old. Her family moved out of the Monument home more than a year before the child's body was discovered.

The discovery of the body shocked the town of Monument, which has never had a murder. The cause of Genesis' death ahs not been determined.

The little girl's mother, Jopetia Garretson, talked with News First 5 on the phone from her home in New Jersey. Garretson says Genesis loved being a big sister and a little girl.

"That was her thing: Dora, school, eat, and ice cream sandwiches," says Garretson.

"I cried right away," adds Garretson. "You took one of the best things that ever happened to me. She was too sweet."

Garretson says the last time she saw her daughter was 2007, when she lost joint custody.

Lynch sent News First 5 a message on Facebook Tuesday saying, "I don't know what happened. I was scared and panicked. I was dealing with a lot of things. I would love to talk to police about what happened but I don't know. I want to ask them some questions."

NF5 Investigates with James Jarman will have the latest developments tonight on News First 5. 

Lt. Sevene's statement from Wednesday afternoon also asked for patience from the public and the media:

We are asking for cooperation from the media to ensure information provided to the public is accurate and in no way compromises the investigation or any potential future prosecution. At this point, there is a tremendous amount of information being circulated which may be inaccurate or misleading. This can create a real disservice to the citizens of our community and the family and friends of the victim.

When the Sheriff's Office contacts Sims and Lynch, and they are in custody on outstanding warrants, the public and the media will be informed. Specific details on this investigation will be released when appropriate so as not to affect the integrity of the investigation.


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