A Texas toddler who vanished from bed in the middle of the night was later found dead in a landfill, and a suspect has been arrested in connection with the case.
Cedric Jackson Jr. was last seen at 11 p.m. on Tuesday night when his aunt said she put him to bed in her Dallas-area condo. She said that when she woke up seven hours later, the 18-month-old had vanished without a trace. He had last been seen wearing only a diaper.
On Thursday afternoon, police arrested Sendrick Johnson, 27, charging him with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury, Dallas police announced on Twitter. NBC reports that Johnson is the boyfriend of the boy’s aunt.
It was not immediately clear if Johnson has entered a plea or retained an attorney to comment on his behalf.
The aunt, who had recently been granted custody of Cedric by Child Protective Services, called police on Wednesday morning to report the toddler was missing. Authorities issued a statewide AMBER Alert and began investigating the disappearance as a possible abduction.
According to a police report first obtained by KAKE-TV, a child inside the condo told her aunt that she saw a man take the toddler from the home. The little girl said she hid when she saw the man and didn’t say anything until the following morning, because she was afraid. She said the man looked like a relative or a close family friend.
Maintenance workers repaired the front door of the condo on Thursday morning, the Dallas Morning News reports. A window had also been broken. The workers declined to say what happened to the door. A window had also been broken at the apartment.
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On Thursday afternoon, investigators made a grisly discovery. According to CBS News, authorities found Cedric’s body in a landfill. They set up a red sunshade to cover the alleged crime scene from news helicopters. Crime Scene Investigators were still at the scene late Thursday afternoon.
Cedric’s death has devastated his family. “He’s dead. He’s gone,” Crystal Jackson, Cedric’s aunt, told Dallas TV station WFAA. “We don’t know 100 percent of what happened, but we all loved that baby. He was just the sweetest baby.”
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call 911 or the Dallas police at 214-671-4268.