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Florida Mother's Kidnap Tale Replaced by a Murder Charge

November 05, 1994|Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A woman who gave a gripping TV account of her 7-year-old daughter's purported abduction was charged Friday with murder after her husband's arrest on the same count.

Pauline Zile was arrested at her lawyer's office in Stuart, Fla., a day after she appeared at a news conference and was described as a battered wife, dominated and threatened by husband John Zile.

Pauline Zile, 24, was charged with first-degree murder and one count of aggravated child abuse. The battered body of her daughter, Christina, was found buried on Oct. 27 after her husband led police to the grave north of West Palm Beach.

Sobbing on television, Pauline Zile told of how Christina was abducted from a Ft. Lauderdale flea market restroom on Oct. 22. She pleaded for the girl's return but kept referring to Christina in the past tense. There were other inconsistencies in her story and police later found traces of blood in the couple's car and apartment.

The Ziles told police they concocted the abduction tale to cover up the girl's death in mid-September at the hands of John Zile.

Pauline Zile told police he beat Christina to death when she wouldn't stop crying in their apartment. John Zile, 32, confessed after learning that his wife had talked about the death, according to a police affidavit.

John Zile is in jail on charges of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated child abuse, for two alleged previous beatings of Christina. He and his wife are being held without bond.

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