Police want a California man after authorities located the body of his girlfriend’s missing 8-year-old daughter inside his home.
Dhante Jackson, 34, has been on the run from police after police found the body of 8-year-old Sophia Mason inside of his Central Valley home on Thursday, NBC News reports.
Sophia was the daughter of Jackson’s girlfriend, Samantha Johnson, 30, and reported missing last Tuesday.
Police searched Jackson’s home twice before after a family member contacted police sharing their worries about Johnson and Mason. However, each time they visited, the mother and daughter were nowhere in sight.
Following Johnson’s arrest on Thursday, police said she “re-confirmed” suspicions of Mason being at Jackson’s house. When authorities searched Jackson’s home for the third time, they located Mason’s body.
“So hard to believe,” Melonie Verlatti, a family friend told NBC Bay Area, noting that the disturbing case has many feeling “just complete and total shock.”
Family members told police they had no contact with Mason since December, KOLO-TV reports. Johnson had a warrant for her arrest in connection with a 2021 child abuse case in Alameda County.
Investigators believe Jackson fled the scene after learning of the police search. There is a murder warrant for his arrest.
“Soon after news spread about Jackson’s home being searched, he went on the run,” police wrote in a statement, as reported by Law and Crime. “A warrant has been issued for Jackson’s arrest for the charge of murder. He is known to frequent the Bay Area of California.”
Johnson is facing a murder charge in connection to her daughter’s death, Merced police said. She is also charged with obstruction of an officer’s investigation and corporal injury to a child, Santa Rita jail records show.
“We also want to thank the community for their support and concern for Sophia’s welfare,” Hayward police said. “This is a difficult and emotional time for Sophia’s family, and we cannot begin to fathom their grief.”