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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Mother of Missing Girl Faces Additional Charge

May 18, 2000

POMONA — Prosecutors filed another child abuse charge Wednesday against a mother and her live-in boyfriend in connection with the woman's 3-year-old daughter, whose twin sister has been missing since May 7.

The new charge against Simona Denise Demery, 19, and Jeffery Jones, 24, of Pomona stems from a doctor's physical examination of Demery's daughter, Ebony Versluis.

On May 7, Demery told police that Ebony's twin sister, Alicia, vanished from a popular park 2 miles from the storefront where the family lived. A day after reporting the child missing, Demery and Jones were arrested and charged with felony child endangerment. Police said they found squalid conditions in the dwelling where the couple lived with Alicia and Ebony. "We added one additional count of child abuse after Ebony was examined by a physician . . . based on evidence gathered as a result of that exam," Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said Wednesday.

Gibbons would not elaborate on the new charge, but did say it was physical, not sexual, abuse.

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