Screen image from an alert announcing that Maha Li Hobbs was missing and being searched for. On the right is her mother, Alexus Nelson.

AURORA | Aurora police have arrested an Aurora woman whose 5-year-old daughter was reported missing after the body of a child was found in the woman’s apartment, according to a statement from Aurora police.

Alexus Nelson, 27, was arrested earlier this week in connection with charges of attempting to influence a public servant as police were searching for Nelson’s missing daughter. 

“Charges of child abuse resulting in death, tampering with a deceased human body and tampering with physical evidence were added Thursday after Crimes Against Children detectives located human remains of a child in Nelson’s apartment,” the release said.

Identification of the body found in Nelson’s apartment will come from the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office.

On Wednesday, the Aurora Police Department sent out a missing person’s report for Maha Li, a 5-year-old girl. In a Thursday update on social media, the department said that Nelson was Li’s mother.

On Tuesday, 911 dispatchers received a call from someone out of state who said that their daughter, Nelson, had made concerning statements to them recently by text.

“The caller also raised concerns about the safety of their granddaughter,” the release said.

Officers visited Nelson at her apartment in the 1000 block of South Elkhart Way, where according to the release she told them she had given her daughter up for adoption but did not provide any documentation.

“Investigators couldn’t independently verify the adoption through state records, prompting Nelson’s initial arrest for attempting to influence a public servant,” the release said.

An arrest affidavit for the attempting to influence a public servant charge said that the caller was Nelson’s mother, who became concerned after Nelson told her that she had given up her daughter for adoption.

At the apartment, the affidavit said Nelson told police she had given up her daughter in a legal adaption about a month earlier and did not want her mother to know where she was.

She said she had worked with the agency Adoptions with Love but did not provide any records and the director told police that she had not had any contact with Nelson.

The Internet Crimes Against Children unit then contacted Nelson. According to the affidavit, Nelson told detectives that she did not feel like she had the resources to provide for her daughter, which is why she had placed her for adoption.

After being told that Adoptions of Love had no record of her, Nelson allowed police to search her phone for emails, the affidavit said. Detectives could not find any evidence of a transaction.

The girl’s father lives out of state and told police that he had not seen his daughter in about two years, the affidavit said.

In May, the affidavit said that a maintenance worker had entered the apartment and noticed that the second bedroom was locked and a piece of rope was connected from the door to the door of the bathroom across the hall.

“It appears that someone was trying to keep someone else locked in the bedroom door,” the affidavit said. “He noticed children’s toys in the apartment but did not hear anyone inside that bedroom.”

Nelson is being held in lieu of a $100,000 bond in the Arapahoe County Detention Center. She is scheduled to appear in Arapahoe County District Court on Tuesday, according to online records.

Anyone with potential information about this case is asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

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