SUMTER, S.C. (WSAV) – The search for a missing 5-year-old girl, whose mother was found dead, has shifted to a recovery effort based on information provided by the suspect, according to Sumter officials.
The search for Navaeh Lashy Adams began Monday after the child’s mother, 29-year-old Sharee Bradley, was found dead in her apartment by a family member.
The suspect, Daunte Maurice Johnson, 28, who police say is considered a transient, was seen fleeing the location. He was later found and taken into custody. He reportedly knew Bradley.
During an interview, Johnson said he killed Bradley and her daughter and provided information that could help police locate Navaeh’s body.
“We believe that the 5-year-old is deceased,” Chief Russell Roark said. “Based on the information we received from the suspect, we have searched the landfills, and we will continue searching.”
Sumter Police Department and assisting agencies have been searching since late Monday night.
“Finding this little girl is first and foremost and we have and will continue to use every resource available to make that happen,” Chief Roark said. “Our prayers are with the family and we will continue to assist them throughout this tragic ordeal.”
An initial investigation by the Sumter County Coroner’s Office determined Bradley had been dead for several hours before she was found. Police think Navaeh was likely killed during the same time frame.
Police said they are working to learn more about Johnson, the suspect, who has a criminal record and is a suspect in a homicide investigation in Missouri. He is being held in the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center on a murder charge, with his first appearance hearing pending.
When Navaeh was initially reported missing, many people on social media were wondering why an Amber Alert was not issued. The Sumter Police Department released a statement on Facebook addressing the concerns, saying this particular case did not meet the federal guidelines.
This story is developing.