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MERCED — Government on Sunday supplied further grim main points within the Sophia Mason murder case, together with data at the arrests of 3 girls who helped suspect Dhante Jackson get away seize. 

After a statewide seek, 34-year-old Dhante Jackson used to be arrested Saturday for allegedly abusing and murdering 8-year-old Sophia Mason.  He have been at the run for 6 months.  

Mason used to be discovered useless in a bath in March after police searched his Merced house. Police mentioned members of the family informed them the woman used to be closing observed in December. 

Her mom and Jackson’s female friend, Samantha Johnson, used to be arrested and charged with homicide and kid abuse in March. She is in custody in Dublin for prior kid abuses fees from 2021. 

All through a Sunday morning press convention, government additionally showed that 3 feminine acquaintances have been additionally arrested for serving to Jackson elude police for 6 months. 

Uncooked: Government supply main points referring to arrest in Sophia Mason homicide


Police mentioned the 3 girls were charged with accent to homicide after the reality for offering “cash, refuge and transportation” to Jackson.

The ladies arrested have been known as San Jose resident D’Burkah Johnson, Merced resident Larona Larkin and Newark resident Myra Guiterrez. 

Merced Police Captain Joe Weiss mentioned the Merced Police Division made the arrest in Newark with the aid of the California Division of Justice Particular Operations Unit and the Merced Space Gang and Narcoctic Enforcment Staff (MAGNET). 

Merced Police Lt. Joe Perez mentioned detectives tracked Jackson’s actions from Merced to the Bay Space, directly to Southern California and again to the Bay Space.

Over 20 seek warrants have been authored right through the investigation and loads of hours have been spent inspecting digital forensic information to track Jackson from location to location.

Perez additionally supplied a few of what he described as “ugly main points” of the case that detectives exposed right through their investigation. 

Perez famous that Sophia have been useless for over a month on the place of dwelling when her frame used to be recovered.

Along with proof of being subjected to chronic bodily abuse, police mentioned Sophia used to be malnourished and compelled to are living in a yard shed and a closet on the place of dwelling the place she used to be discovered. 

“In my twenty years of legislation enforcement, this situation is probably the most horrific and demanding I have observed,” mentioned Perez. “To grasp what that deficient little angel went thru by the hands of natural evil breaks my center.”

The cousin of an 8-year-old Hayward lady who used to be discovered murdered and abused spoke out Saturday night time about the arrest of a suspect in her case

“I could not imagine it. It feels love it’s been a very long time coming, however I am so happy they after all were given him,” mentioned Mason’s cousin Melanie Verlatti. 

“Simply realizing that he used to be picked up in Newark which satirically, Samantha used to be additionally picked up in Newark after they were given her,” Verlatti added. “So I have no idea if it used to be roughly round the similar cases the place there used to be a prostitution ring occurring or what, however I do know they pass him and he is were given bail set for 1,000,000 greenbacks.” 

Merced Mayor Matt Serratto mentioned: 

Huge credit score is going to our police division and our job pressure, who’ve labored tirelessly and trustworthy super sources first to investigating the case and now to finding Mr. Jackson.  Now the case is within the palms of our courtroom machine, and we will have to permit the judicial procedure to spread and believe that it’s going to culminate in a simply end result.

The Hayward Police Division mentioned in a statemen to KPIX 5: 

Whilst the case remains to be below investigation, we need to categorical our inner most gratitude to the Merced Police Division and the California Division of Justice for his or her tireless paintings to deliver this tragic incident one step nearer towards justice being served. Our hearts and ideas stay with the circle of relatives and family members of little Sophia; we can not consider your ache as you still mourn her loss. 

State lawyer basic Rob Bonta’s place of work additionally introduced the arrest: 

“Our kids will have to be secure from violence and we will have to do the whole lot we will to safeguard them. I need to thank the participants of my crew and our legislation enforcement companions in Merced for his or her paintings in this very tricky case, and hope it brings some measure of convenience to people who beloved this younger lady to grasp that the ones accused of her homicide will now have to stand those allegations,” mentioned Bonta. 

Verlatti described Mason as a bubbly and playful lady who beloved her adoptive grandmother, Sylvia Johnson. She raised Mason maximum of her existence.  

“Although we will’t get Sophia again, I think like getting Dhante is one piece of the puzzle that is serving to to near this situation and provides us answer as a circle of relatives no less than, hoping that he is come blank and no less than inform the reality at this level,” mentioned Verlatti. 

Members of the family mentioned repeated warnings and pleas for lend a hand with Kid Protecting Products and services and the government fell on deaf ears. 

“Let this be a lesson that she’s now not the one one. We are certain there may be extra youngsters available in the market who’re caught in a machine and they are now not being sorted correctly. It do not need come to this and we do not want it to come back to this for every other kid sooner or later,” mentioned Verlatti. “So when you see or know of the rest that is not proper and a kid is not being cared for correctly please, please, please inform government and do it time and again.”


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