DALLAS - The body of a missing Dallas toddler was located Thursday morning in an area landfill after police say the aunt’s boyfriend confessed to putting the boy’s body in a dumpster.
Video from SKY 4 showed crime scene investigators, specially-trained search dogs and the Dallas County medical examiner at a regional landfill in Rowlett. They appeared to be focused on one particular area.
The Dallas Police Department confirmed that 18-month-old Cedric Jackson is dead. His body was found in the landfill just after 11 a.m.
Police identified Sedrick Johnson, who is the boyfriend of Cedric's aunt, as the suspect in the case. After questioning him, police say he admitted to taking Cedric in the middle of the night and putting him in a dumpster in Northeast Dallas.
When detectives got to the dumpster, they didn't find Cedric. They then were told that the dumpster had been emptied at least twice at the landfill in Rowlett.
Police say they do not yet have a motive for this crime. The medical examiner will determine Cedric’s time and cause of death.
Right now, Johnson has been charged with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury.
An Amber Alert was issued Wednesday for Cedric after he was reportedly abducted from his aunt’s apartment in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas. It has since been canceled.
The boy’s aunt told police she put him down for bed Tuesday night and when she woke up Wednesday morning he was gone. A juvenile in the house reported seeing someone who looked like a relative take the boy.
Police questioned that person of interest on Wednesday but did not find the child. He was taken to jail for unrelated warrants.
Cedric was placed by CPS in the custody of his aunt two months ago. The child’s mother, DiShundra Thomas, and his father told FOX 4 on Wednesday the custody arrangement was a mutual agreement that CPS approved, with visitation granted to Cedric’s mother.
“I was just unable to completely care for him at the moment, but they were,” Thomas said. “They had all intentions of giving him back to us.”
CPS says investigators removed six other children from the aunt’s apartment Wednesday night. Two of them are hers. Six of the kids belong to Johnson.
Family members and friends walked out of the condo Thursday afternoon after the news broke, but they said they needed more time before making a statement. The family has said since the beginning of the investigation that the story they were told about how little Cedric disappeared did not make sense.
“I have my suspicions,” Thomas said on Wednesday. “It just baffles me that a child can get taken without anybody hearing anything or you supposedly say the child was sleeping next to you in your bed.”
Felicia Bowman is among the dozens of people who were out searching for Cedric on Wednesday only to hear news of the boy’s death Thursday morning. Many people who live in the complex, especially those with children of their own, reacted with anger and sadness.
“We were looking for him yesterday. We were looking for him yesterday. My grandbaby’s two,” Bowman said. “This is... No. It’s not what we wanted.”
Police say Johnson could face additional charges once the medical examiner determines the cause of death.