A mother’s boyfriend has been arrested in connection to the murder of her young daughter.
This past Saturday, police in Newark, California, arrested 34-year-old Dante Jackson for his alleged involvement in the murder of his girlfriend’s 8-year-old daughter, Sophia Mason. Sophia disappeared for several months. Her relatives told police they’d lost touch with her since December and that she was known for living in different locations between Hayward and Southern California.
Back in March, police arrested Sophia’s 30-year-old mother, Samantha Johnson, on a warrant that was connected to a 2021 child abuse case in Alameda County. That same month, Sophia’s body was found. Police say the child’s body was found inside the bathtub of a Central California home. The bathroom was locked, according to court documents.
Investigators learned that the child was subjected to physical and sexual abuse, was malnourished, and was sometimes forced to live in a shed in the backyard of Jackson’s home. Johnson, who was in a relationship with Jackson, has pleaded not guilty to murder and child abuse, CBS News reports. Jackson and Johnson face the same charges, and four others have been arrested for allegedly helping Jackson evade police.
The Bay Area News Group uncovered child welfare documents that showed Sophia reported her abuse to two social workers, mentioning how her mother checked and hit her. Last week, Sophia’s grandmother filed a wrongful death legal claim against Alameda County, accusing the Department of Child and Family Services of neglecting the young girl.