NJ toddler's disappearance went unreported for 3 years, now mother's boyfriend charged with murder

The family of the suspect, Matthew Chiles III, spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News.

ByDarla Miles and and the Eyewitness News digital team via WABC logo
Wednesday, August 3, 2022 11:52PM
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A New Jersey toddler was discovered to have been missing for three years during a welfare check and now her mother's boyfriend is charged with murder. Darla Miles has the story.

PERTH AMBOY, N.J. (WABC) -- A New Jersey toddler was discovered to have been missing for three years during a welfare check and now her mother's boyfriend is charged with murder.

Matthew Chiles III, 29, is facing endangering the welfare of a child and desecration of human remains charges in addition to the murder charge.

On July 26, the Edison Police Department conducted a welfare check of Monique Durham's twin 5-year-old daughters.

That led to an investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office which revealed that one of the girls was missing and had been since 2019.

Further investigation revealed that Chiles engaged in conduct resulting in the missing child's death and illegally disposed of the child's remains.

The family of the suspect spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News.

"I actually called her once and I asked her, like where's your other daughter and she basically told me like, she's with a family member and why was I concerned about it and that was none of my concern," the mother of the suspect's son said.

The suspect's son said he never stopped asking about his sister to their father and the child's mother.

"He would say that she's adopted, but Monique would get mad at me...she just had a nasty attitude because I asked her where was she," the mother of the suspect's son said. "She was very upset and I don't know why."

Sources told Eyewitness News that the toddler's remains were found last month in the basement of the suspect's Perth Amboy home.

According to documents obtained by Eyewitness News, Child Protective Services was contacted twice, in Nov. 2021 and Feb. 22, with abuse allegations to the surviving twin girl.

From February through June of 2022, Durham was uncooperative and failed to produce the child to CPS.

In June, CPS contacted the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and in July, CPS contacted police.

"My son told me the last memory of my he has of his little sister was she was getting a spanking by her parents and after they spanked her they put her in the bed," said the mother of the suspect's son. "My son said he was looking through the door and she was unresponsive."

"She's been gone for like three years, and I didn't see her," the suspect's son said. "And I just wanted to know where she was at because I missed her."

Durham is also charged with two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of third-degree theft.

There is a history of domestic violence between the couple and Durham told a CPS worker that she was not safe. The biological father of the twin girls has not been in their lives since they were born.

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