As Mary Jophlin made her way into the Franklin County courthouse on Wednesday, she did so facing a new charge.
Late Tuesday, prosecutors added a count of first degree murder
to go along with concealing a death and obstruction of justice.
Jophlin's sister, Jennifer Gaskin, can't believe it.
"It was mind-blowing, because honestly, I didn't think she'd be charged with it, but they have to pass it off on somebody I guess," Gaskin said.
According to court documents, on July 19th, Jophlin drowned her eight year old daughter Alexus Smothers with the use of her hands, water, or another object. Prosecutors say she then placed Smother's body in the crawl space of their West Frankfort home and reported her missing.
Gaskin says new details have come to her attention that proves her sister's innocence.
"Someone else did it,"
Gaskin explained. "Most definitely you know, there's just different things that came up within the past few weeks that proves that my sister is innocent."
State's attorney Evan Owens cites two aggravating factors in court documents that could lead to a sentence of life in prison if Jophlin is convicted. Those factors include "exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior."
"She loved my niece, she loved all her kids," said Gaskin. "She begs now to see her kids and to be able to hear their voice. And there's no possible way that my sister would ever do that to her kid."
Jophlin is being held at the Franklin County Jail on $2 million bond.