Park Forest grandparents charged in death of 5-year-old girl denied bond

Park Forest police responded to Osage Street Friday for report of unresponsive child

Monday, July 17, 2023
Park Forest grandparents charged in girl's death denied bond
Klent Elwoods and Lisa Jones were due in bond court after being charged in Jada Moore's murder in Park Forest, IL and admitting to child abuse.

PARK FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- Two Park Forest grandparents were denied bond Monday after being charged in connection to the death of their grandchild, authorities said.

Disturbing details were revealed in bond court Monday.

Police said Klent Elwoods, 62, and his wife, Lisa Jones, 57, both admitted to abusing their 5-year-old granddaughter, Jada Moore, who had been temporarily placed in their custody.

Paramedics found Moore unresponsive, lying naked on a couch in the living room Friday at a Park Forest home after Elwoods called 911.

Prosecutors said Elwoods told the dispatcher, "I was beating my granddaughter and now she is out of it."

Emergency crews responded just before 11 p.m. to the home in the 300-block of Osage Street.

"After about 10 seconds of them being inside, the paramedics come rushing out with a little girl who appeared to be completely limp," neighbor T.T. Paul said. "I had never seen her, but I knew he had a grandchild, so I wasn't surprised to see a child there 'cause I knew he had one."

Police said the young girl died at Comer Children's Hospital Saturday after being airlifted there.

They said she had signs of recent physical abuse as well as older indicators.

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Neighbors of the couple said they are horrified and never really saw a child at the house.

Next-door neighbor Richard Williams said they often shouted at their Rottweilers.

"I've never seen the little girl myself. It's always been them two and other adults, never knew they had a girl inside the house, and, to me, that'd be kind of dangerous with those Rottweilers," Williams said. "He was very helpful. They were pleasant. They used to come, and the wife used to come and get things from my daughter's garden in the back. And, like I said earlier, they used to loan me tools for my grass, and I used to loan him tools for his grass."

Both Elwoods and Jones have been charged with first-degree murder, and face a life sentence if convicted.

"Right now, we're just praying for everyone involved and wishing of course it hadn't happened. But we're just praying for everyone involved," Paul said.

The couple, investigators said, had taken custody of the girl on April 5, to give her mother, who lives in Georgia, time to improve her living situation there.

Prosecutors said a post-arrest confession provided by Jones indicates the beatings started about a month later, apparently provoked by several instances of the girl soiling herself. Each one was documented on a calendar found inside the home.

Joyce Miller is a longtime friend of Elwoods who came to court Monday, wanting to hear first-hand what happened.

"It's sad; it's sad to see anyone go through a trial and tribulation, especially when it's regarding a baby," Miller said.

The suspects are next due in court Aug. 2.