A prosecutor says a Flint couple beat their young daughter to death and buried her in a shallow grave, where investigators believe animals took the body.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton announced felony murder and other charges Tuesday against 26-year-old Khairy Joshuawon Simon and 27-year-old Erika Shantae Finley. The two also were arraigned in Genesee District Court on charges of child abuse, tampering with evidence, and lying to a peace officer in a violent crime.
Leyton says the investigation began after a child welfare worker asked Finley where 3-year-old Kimora Simon was.
Leyton says a three-day search failed to turn up Kimora or her body.
According to WNEM in Flint, investigators said they were notified by a teacher at Burton Glen Academy that a 5-year-old student had marks on their body that looked like abuse. The Department of Health and Human Services followed up and went to the family's home.
While there, the DHHS investigators asked Finley where Kimora was. Finley said she was with her father, Khairy Simon, in Detroit.
Relatives in Detroit said they had not seen the child in more than a year.
Investigators spoke with both parents who had conflicting stories.
Leyton said officials believe Kimora was beaten to death by her parents. The girls' father is believed to have buried the girl near railroad tracks behind a Flint apartment complex.
Police searched for three days with K9 units to find the body, however, Leyton said they believe the remains were carried away by animals.
Investigators say they have a backpack that they believe was used to transport the child's body.
Simon and Finley have both been charged with felony murder, child abuse in the first degree, child abuse in front of another child, tampering with evidence and lying to a police officer.
Ttwo other children, a 7-year-old boy and 5-year-old boy, were also in the home and both are in temporary foster care placement.
Information from the Associated Press and WNEM was used in this report.\