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Body of 2-month-old baby still missing; mother charged

Posted at 5:36 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 18:58:14-04

KENOSHA — A mother has been charged with multiple felonies in the death of her 2-month-old girl.

Monica Adams, 21, appeared in Kenosha County's intake court Monday afternoon. Adams was charged with five felonies and a misdemeanor including failure to report the death of a child as a party to a crime and giving false information.

"As District Attorney Gravely said on Friday of last week, due to the extent of these lies that took place over several days and weeks, it’s unlikely that we will be able to find this young girl's body or even determine a cause of death at this point," said Jason Zapf, a Kenosha County assistant district attorney.

"I’m not sure that it’s correct to say that these lies were made in order to attempt to hide things or to keep things. It’s very clearly laid out here throughout this complaint over and over again, and all of her statements that Miss Adams was in fear of the co-defendant," said Adams' attorney Larisa Benitez-Morgan.

On July 28, a relative became suspicious when Adams and Jalisa's father left a Kenosha home with the baby for a couple of hours and came back without her, according to a criminal complaint. After more than a week of getting different stories, the relative grew more suspicious and took Jalisa's parents to Kenosha Police.

The parents ran away before the police caught up with them. Police said the parents lied multiple times before they were led to a field at 50th Street and 52nd Avenue in Kenosha.

After an intense search spanned more than a day, investigators did not find Jalisa. However, they reported finding a bag they believe may have been used to hide her.

Days after the police search, stuffed animals and balloons marked the field where it is believed Jalisa was left.

According to court documents, police looked at Jalisa's father's cellphone and found web searches for phrases including what is the only way a parent cannot go to jail if a baby dies, sudden infant death syndrome, and what type of wild animals are found in Kenosha.

"We'll never see her walk, crawl, nothing. We won’t see her teething, nothing. They took that away from us." — Jalisa's relative

Jalisa's extended family showed up to intake court Monday. They say they are heartbroken but want to see justice for her death. One of Jalisa's family members agreed to an interview with TODAY'S TMJ4 on the condition we concealed her identity. Her family members said they are overwhelmed with Jalisa's death.

"We'll never see her walk, crawl, nothing. We won’t see her teething, nothing. They took that away from us," she said.

"I’m going through hell, and I’m feeling bad about it. I see it on TV, but I never thought we'll be a part of this. This is crazy," the woman added.

She described Jalisa as a sweet and pretty baby.

Jalisa's father is in custody but has not been formally charged.