SUMTER, S.C. - Authorities are searching through garbage at landfills in two South Carolina counties for the body of a 5-year-old girl who was killed along with her mother.
Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark said 28-year-old Daunte Johnson told detectives he dumped the girl's body in a trash bin at a Sumter apartment Monday.
Authorities said Nevaeh Lashy Adams has been missing since Monday evening after a relative discovered the body of her mother, 29-year-old Sharee Bradley. They are calling the search for the little girl a recovery effort.
Roark says a trash truck unloaded the complex's bins before Bradley's body was found and Nevaeh was reported missing.
Roark says that trash was unloaded into one of nine bigger trucks, so investigators are sorting through 46,000 pounds of garbage in Richland and Sumter County landfills.
Roark says authorities are also continuing to search for the girl's body in other places.
Sumter police said they haven't determined how Bradley died. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
According to police, Johnson was arrested after he was seen running away from the residence. He is being held in the Sumter Lee Detention Center and is being charged with murder.
During his interview, police said Johnson told them he killed Bradley, an acquaintance of his, and her daughter. He also provided information that could help officers locate the girl's body.
“Finding this little girl is first and foremost, and we have and will continue to use every resource available to make that happen,” Roark said. “Our prayers are with the family, and we will continue to assist them throughout this tragic ordeal.”
Police said Bradley had been dead for several hours before her body was found. They believe Adams was killed around the same time as her mother.
Officials are working to learn more about Johnson, who has a criminal record in other states and is a suspect in a Missouri homicide.
Channel 9 has learned Johnson has a history in Charlotte.
His most recent arrest was in January for trespassing. In 2018, he was arrested for violating a domestic violence protective order. Court documents for Johnson show two other cases of assault on a female. Those two cases, along with the protective order violation, were dismissed.
Various documents list several Charlotte addresses for Johnson. Sumter police described him as a transient, so it’s not clear how much time he’s spent in the area.
This is an ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call their local law enforcement agency.
Check back with wsoc-tv.com for updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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