Police: Evidence suggests missing 5-year-old Nevaeh Adams is dead, suspect charged with murder
SUMTER, S.C. (WIS) - While police have not found the body of 5-year-old Nevaeh Adams, Sumter Police have charged a man with her murder.
That suspect, Duante Johnson, is also charged in the death of Adams’ mother, Sharee Bradley.
Bradley was brutally murdered in her Sumter apartment on Monday, Aug. 5. Adams has not been seen since that day.
In a press conference Monday, Aug. 26, Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark said they have physical evidence to suggest Adams is dead.
That, along with a confession from Johnson, led to police charging him with the girl’s murder.
“Signal one, in reference to Sharee Bradley, covered in blood, not responding,” one officer said over the radio. “She’s not breathing and she’s wrapped up. EMS and Fire are in route.”
That was the scene Sumter Police officers walked into after they got the August 5th call to Sharee Bradley’s home in Lantana Apartments.
“Through forensic information and the autopsy, we know that Sharee was stabbed multiple times and died as a result of that,” said Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark.
Roark says 28-year-old Johnson confessed to putting Nevaeh’s body in a trash bin that was then taken to the county landfill.
“We emptied those trucks one at a time in a designated area and, by hand, went through all 230 tons of garbage that we believed was encompassed in the landfill at that time,” Roark said.
But still no Nevaeh. That’s why her father, says he isn’t giving up hope.
“I feel like the search at the landfill was not conducted in the right way, because I feel like if she was there, she would have been found,” said Dupray Adams, Nevaeh’s father. “So, I’m just letting the community know that the search still continues.”
“Hold on, Daddy is right here with you,” he said. “We are going to find you. We have not given up, by any means necessary, and we’re going to keep searching.”
Officers arrested Johnson quickly after Bradley’s body was found. Police said he admitted to killing Bradley and said he also killed Adams and threw the girl’s body in a dumpster.
- Recap of what we know on the tragic death of Sharee Bradley, and search efforts of Nevaeh Adams
- Community holds vigil for missing 5-year-old from Sumter, her mother
- Bond denied for S.C. man accused of woman’s murder, child’s disappearance
- S.C. mother found dead, 5-year-old daughter missing
Sumter Police said they conducted a massive search of hundreds of tons of trash taken from Sumter to a landfill starting on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Police said they searched about 10 tractor trailer loads of trash by hand. They did not find the girl’s body.
However, Roark said he believes there were a couple of other trucks of trash that were not searched.
During the press conference, Roark tried to explain how difficult the search is because of how trash is collected, laid out, compacted and moved.
Police have not given up on finding the girl’s body and do plan to continue their search of the landfill.
While that investigation continues, police gave all of Adams’ information to the National Center for Missing and Exploiting Children.
Adams’ family, especially her father, is not giving up the search for Adams. He is not convinced his daughter is dead.
The family says they will organize their own search for the child.
In all, Johnson faces two counts of murder, two counts possession of weapon during violent crime and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Police said the car Johnson was in belonged to a homicide victim who lived in Missouri.
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