WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois woman is accused of trying to cover up the death of her 8-year-old daughter, whose body was found in a crawl space of their home.

Franklin County prosecutors charged 28-year-old Mary Jophlin on Tuesday with concealment of a death.

Alexus Smothers’ body was found Tuesday after police came to the home in response to a report of a missing child.

Authorities haven’t yet said how the girl died. A pathologist who specializes in children’s deaths is scheduled to perform an autopsy.

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says his office is investigating allegations of abuse and neglect in the case. Jophlin’s other two children have been placed in state custody.

Online court records don’t list an attorney for Jophlin.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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