The California Attorney General and Merced police say they arrested Dhante Jackson for allegedly killing his girlfriend's 8-year-old daughter, Sophia Mason.
According to officials, Jackson, who had been on the run for six months, was arrested on Saturday in Newark, California. The Merced County D.A.'s office says they will charge Jackson with murder.
While arresting Jackson, police say they arrested four additional people for helping Jackson evade arrest.
Officials say Sophia was reported missing by relatives in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Hayward earlier this year. They told police they had not had contact with Sophia since December, and that she was known to stay at different locations between Hayward and Southern California.
On Mach 11, investigators found Sophia's body in Jackson's home. The next day, Sophia's mom, Samantha Johnson, who was already in custody for prior child abuse charges, told police her daughter was forced to live in a shed in Jackson's yard and was physically and sexually abused.
Samantha Johnson, of Hayward, is being held on suspicion of murder of her 8-year-old daughter Sophia Mason in Merced County. (KTVU FOX 2)
"The pain of losing a child is unimaginable — especially when that child was a victim of abuse. We grieve with Sophia’s family and loved ones, and acknowledge that she should be here with us now — playing, learning, and growing up," said Attorney General Rob Bonta. "Our children should be protected from violence and we must do everything we can to safeguard them. I want to thank the members of my team and our law enforcement partners in Merced for their work on this very difficult case, and hope it brings some measure of comfort to those who loved this young girl to know that those accused of her murder will now have to face these allegations."