Mary Zumwalt-Jophlin Drowns Daughter, Hides Her Body in Basement



​28-year-old Mary Zumwalt-Jophlin was never considered a primo mother. Illinois social workers first began visiting her West Frankfurt home all the way back in 2004, when for reasons unknown her three children were placed in foster care. They were back home a year later…

But for some odd reason, social workers stopped checking in on the family that same year. Their last contact with Zumwalt-Jophlin was in 2005.

That would change last month. Zumwalt-Jophlin called police to say that her 8-year-old daughter, Alexus Smothers, was missing. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t take cops long to discover where she went.

They found her body stuffed in a crawl space in the basement of Zumwalt-Jophlin’s home. An autopsy later revealed that the little girl had drown.

Police have subsequently charged her mother with murder. Though they’re not releasing a lot of detail on the case, they contend Zumwalt-Jophlin killed Alexus “with the use of her hands, water, another
object, or a combination thereof.”

She then hid her body in the basement for an estimated two days before finally calling police. (Special thanks to reader Wendy for the tip.)

See our last story from the Homicide file: Jori Lirette, 7, Dismembered by Jeremiah Wright, His Mom’s Boyfriend.