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Mom of Dead West Frankfort Girl Told Police Conflicting Stories

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Crime-scene

BENTON, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois woman accused of concealing the death of her 8-year-old daughter gave an officer conflicting accounts of what happened to the girl.

That’s what a West Frankfort police officer testified about Wednesday during a Franklin County hearing over who should take custody of Mary Jophlin’s other daughter.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that the officer testified that Jophlin told police she placed Alexus Smothers’ body in a basement crawl space. But the officer says the mother first called the child’s death “somewhat accidental,” then called the matter “not accidental.”

Police aren’t saying what may have caused the girl’s death, noting they’re awaiting toxicology test results.

Jophlin remains jailed. Court records do not indicate whether she has an attorney.

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Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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