Couple sought after dead child found in empty home

MONUMENT, Colo.—Colorado authorities have been dispatched to California and New Jersey to search for a couple they want to question about the death of a young girl found in the basement crawl space of an empty town house.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s office said Saturday it is also trying to obtain DNA samples from the couple’s relatives to determine whether they’re related to the child who was discovered in Monument, north of Colorado Springs.

“That’s just to give us a standpoint, either to determine or to rule out,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Lt. Lari Sevene.

Monique Lynch and Hanif Sims previously lived in the town house but moved in early 2009 and investigators want to talk to them, she said. They are not suspects, Sevene said.

Both have warrants out on them from New Jersey and Lynch is wanted on a drug-related probation violation and Sims on a weapons violation, she said

Authorities said the girl was between 7 and 10 years old. Workers remodeling the house found her body. The death is suspicious but it has not been ruled a homicide, Sevene said. Investigators are still waiting for lab tests to determine how she died.

The girl attended Lewis-Palmer School District 38 but she was pulled to be home schooled in October 2008, Sevene said.

The house, which had been unoccupied for some time, is now up for sale.

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