Prime suspect for the murder of 8-year-old girl arrested, 3 others helped him avoid police

2 mins read

After a six-month run, Dhante Jackson, 33, has been arrested for the murder of 8-year-old girl Sophia Mason. 

Dhante was arrested on Saturday, around 1:40 p.m. in Newark. He will be booked into Merced County Jail for murder and child abuse. 

Sophia’s mother, Samantha Johnson, 31, was Jackson’s girlfriend at the time of the murder. She was arrested and charged with murder and child abuse in March. 

Additionally, three women were arrested Sunday for helping Dhante elude the police. 

According to authorities, the three women have been charged with accessory to murder for providing “money, shelter and transportation” to Jackson.

The women were identified as D’Burkah Johnson, Larona Larkin, and Myra Guiterrez. 

According to Merced Police Lt. Joe Perez, detectives have been tracking Jackson’s movements from Merced to the Bay Area, to Southern California, and Bay Area again. 

Mason was found dead in a bathtub after police searched his Merced home in March. Family members told police they’ve last seen Mason in December. 

Perez also added, “gruesome details” that detectives have discovered during the investigation. 

One was that Sophia had been dead for more than a month at the residence when her body was found and that she was malnourished and forced to live in a backyard shed and a closet. 

“In my 20 years of law enforcement, this case is the most horrific and disturbing I’ve seen,” said Perez. “To know what that poor little angel went through at the hands of pure evil breaks my heart.”

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