Body Found Inside Merced Home Identified as 8-Year-Old Sophia Mason

The Merced County Coroner confirmed Tuesday the body found inside a Merced home last week belongs to 8-year-old Sophia Mason. 

Mason’s body was discovered days after relatives told Hayward police that they have had no contact with the girl since December. 

The girl stayed at different locations between Hayward and Southern California. 

Investigators said the home where the body was found is where 31-year-old Samantha Johnson was believed to be staying with her 8-year-old daughter. 

Johnson was arrested Thursday, March 10 in the Bay Area. 

Her statements led police to serve a search warrant at the house in Merced, where her 34-year-old boyfriend Dhante Jackson resides, the statement said.

Jackson is still being searched for by authorities and is wanted in connection to Mason’s death. 

Merced County officials have not released information on Mason’s cause of death. 

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