The Washington Post

Mother’s boyfriend accused of killing girl


After a months-long manhunt, police arrested a suspect in the death of an 8-year-old girl who had been reported missing before her body was found in March inside a central California home, authoritie­s said Sunday.

Dhante Jackson was taken into custody Saturday in the San Francisco Bay area city of Newark on suspicion of killing Sophia Mason, police and the California attorney general’s office said.

Investigat­ors determined that the girl suffered continuous physical abuse, was malnourish­ed and at times was forced to live in a shed in the backyard of Jackson’s home, Lt. Joe Perez of the Merced police said Sunday during a news conference.

Jackson was in a relationsh­ip with the girl’s mother, 30-yearold Samantha Johnson, who was arrested in March and has pleaded not guilty to murder and child abuse, prosecutor­s said.

Jackson, 34, also faces murder and child abuse charges. It wasn’t known Sunday whether he has an attorney who could comment.

Four other people were arrested Saturday on suspicion of helping Jackson evade arrest, Perez said.

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