PERTH AMBOY — A man is charged with murdering his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter while the girl's mother is accused of not alerting anyone about the killing for three years, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.
Matthew Chiles, 29, of Perth Amboy, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree desecration of human remains, and two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Monique Durham’s twin daughters were 2 years old at the time of the murder in 2019, Ciccone said.
According to the prosecutor, Chiles "engaged in conduct" in Perth Amboy that resulted in the death of one of his girlfriend's daughters. A statement from Ciccone did not include more specific information on what Chiles is accused of doing.
He is accused of then illegally disposing of the child's body.
Ciccone said that no friends or family had seen the victim for three years but no one reported her missing.
Then on Tuesday, July 26, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency contacted the Edison police to conduct a wellness check. Investigators spoke with Durham and found that the one twin was missing, according to Ciccone.
Police then referred the matter to the county prosecutor's office for a joint investigation resulting in the arrest of both Chiles and Durham.
Durham is charged with two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child and one count of third-degree theft. It was not clear whether the theft charge was related to the circumstances surrounding her daughter's death.
Chiles and Durham are both being held at Middlesex County jail pending a detention hearing, Ciccone said.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office did not immediately return a request for more information.
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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey
A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.
From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.
Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.
If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.
Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.
You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.
Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.
Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.
I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions: