Judge orders man accused of killing girlfriend’s daughter to remain in jail
A Perth Amboy man accused of killing his girlfriend’s daughter and then covering it up for more than two years will remain in jail for the time being.
Matthew Chiles faced a judge virtually Tuesday morning. He was charged with first-degree murder, desecration of human remains and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office says that Chiles was responsible for killing Sydney Durham in 2019 when she was 2 years old. Police say the child’s mother, Monique Durham, admitted that she knew Chiles killed the girl but covered it up by saying that the toddler was taken in by family members in North Carolina.
Authorities say they were alerted to the case after a welfare check was called in on Sydney Durham's twin sister, who is now 5 years old. They say this is when police discovered that Sydney Durham hadn’t been seen for years.
The prosecutor says an 11-year-old witness told police he heard Chiles beating Sydney Durham in 2019 and then saw that she was not moving or making any noise. That child then told police that he was told she was adopted in the middle of the night by other family members.
Chiles’s attorneys say that it was Monique Durham who killed the girl and that she was the one who came up with the lie that Sydney Durham was adopted. They say that Chiles simply took her word for it.
Court papers show that Monique Durham continued to collect child support, despite knowing that Sydney Durham was dead.
Chiles will remain in custody for the time being.
"I do find that there is evidence of obstruction in this case. The defendant actively lied to [the Department of Child Protection and Permanency], obstructed their investigation and also threatened witnesses,” Judge Thomas Buck stated in court.
Chiles will next appear in court next Friday for his arraignment.
Monique Durham is also facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child. She is out of jail and is on home confinement. She is not allowed to be with her surviving daughter without supervision.