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Sunday, July 1, 2012


by Michael Monks 
The woman who falsely reported that a 1-year old boy she had been babysitting was missing in City Heights, triggering a massive search involving Covington Police & Fire Departments and other jurisdictions as well, now faces charges in Kentucky. Marquita Burch, 26, was jailed after admitting that the boy was dead in a closet inside a Cincinnati apartment and had never been in Covington's City Heights neighborhood that day. Cincinnati Police charged Burch with tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse, but now her rap sheet is growing with new charges after a Kenton County Grand Jury handed down two indictments late last week. 
|Burch now faces two misdemeanor charges, one for falsely reporting an incident and second degree disorderly conduct. Those charges carry a maximum sentence of twelve months in the Kenton County Jail. While a warrant has been issued for Burch's arrest, misdemeanor charges do not result in a suspect being extradited from Ohio to Kentucky. Instead, she would only be arrested if she ever returns to Kentucky. Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders tells The River City News that the charges were sought for two purposes: to discourage Burch from ever returning to this side of the river and for the possibility that she would have to pay restitution to cover the cost of the search. Preliminary estimates from the hours-long effort tallied up more than $10,000 in costs according to the Covington Police and Kenton County Emergency Management team.
"This pulled from their regular duties to assist. At one point, Covington only had two officers covering the entire city because police were devoting every available resource to finding the missing child," Sanders said. "I presented the case to the Grand Jury because there was an important principle involved. Anytime someone intentionally and maliciously makes a false report to police that ends up costing taxpayers thousands of dollars, they shouldn't get to walk away as if it never happened. I have serious doubts about how much restitution this defendant will be capable of paying, but even if we have to collect five dollars a week for the rest of her life, we're going to do it. By the same token, if these misdemeanor charges keep Ms. Burch out of Kentucky forever, that would be fine by me as well. We've got enough troubles of our own without someone coming in from out of state and causing panic over a child that was never in Kentucky in the first place."
Burch blamed the child's death on a fall and then an accidental overdose of ibuprofen that she administered to ease the boy's pain. 

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