DENVER — The 16-year-old girl accused of killing and then hiding the body of 7-year-old Jordan Vong after he asked to her play video games appeared in a Denver District courtroom Thursday.
Jennie Bunsom was advised of her rights during the Thursday morning court appearance. The Denver Post reports that defense attorneys requested Bunsom be appointed a guardian ad litem, meaning someone to investigate what would be in the best interest of the child. The paper reported that no parents or family members were present in the courtroom.
Earlier this week, Bunsom was charged as an adult with first-degree murder after deliberation and first-degree murder by a person in a position of trust in the death of Vong, but it will likely be up to a judge to decide whether the case belongs in adult or juvenile court.
The teen was arrested Aug. 8, a day after police say they discovered Vong’s body concealed in a closet in Bunsom’s room inside the family’s residence. Police were executing a search warrant on the Montbello neighborhood home amid a search for the missing boy when Vong’s body was found. The boy's family reported him missing around 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 6 after they couldn't find him for 45 minutes.
According to probable cause statement obtained by Denver7, the teenage suspect told police that on Aug. 6, Vong went down to her basement bedroom and asked her to play video games with him. When she refused, the boy became upset and laid down on her bed, the document read. Bunsom said this made her angry, which caused her to push the boy off her bed “causing him to strike his face on the floor.”
Bunsom then told police that she “placed her hand over Jordan's mouth and plugged his nose as Jordan began to struggle for a few minutes," the statement read. When he stopped moving, she put the body under her bed and called her girlfriend to tell her she had killed Vong. The girlfriend told Bunsom she had to hide the body and that she should wrap him in a blanket and put him in one of the home's two portable closets in her bedroom, according to the documents.
According to the probable cause statement, Vong’s body was found with a “towel and comforter around his head, biological matter and blood about his nose, and an unknown imprint on Vong’s chest.”
Bunsom told investigators that she did not say a word to family members about what she allegedly did or where the body was hidden. It is unknown if the girlfriend will face charges as well.
The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner said Monday it had determined Vong’s manner of death was homicide, but that his cause of death was “still pending.”