Crime & Courts

Missing girl’s mother was killed after being stabbed in head and neck, SC coroner says

The Sumter County Coroner determined the cause of death for the mother of a little girl who has been missing since Monday and is presumed dead by police.
The Sumter County Coroner determined the cause of death for the mother of a little girl who has been missing since Monday and is presumed dead by police.

An autopsy was performed on the mother of a missing 5-year-old South Carolina girl, and the Sumter County Coroner determined her cause of death.

Sharee Bradley died after suffering blunt force sharp injury to her head and neck, Coroner Robbie Baker said in an interview with The State Thursday.

“She suffered stab wounds from a sharp object. What object, I don’t know,” Baker said shortly after speaking with Bradley’s family.

The 29-year-old Sumter resident’s body was found inside of her apartment Monday by a family member, the Sumter Police Department said.

Police were able to locate two of Bradley’s three children, but her daughter Nevaeh Lashy Adams is still missing and is presumed dead by police.

We believe the 5-year-old is deceased,” Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark said at a news conference Tuesday night.

Police think Nevaeh was also killed in the apartment during the same time frame as her mother.

Baker placed Bradley’s time of death at sometime in the early morning on Monday, telling The State when her body was discovered it “wasn’t something that had just occurred.”

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Nevaeh’s body still had not been found, according to Baker.

Roark said the man suspected of killing Nevaeh and her mother put the child’s body in a dumpster on the property. The dumpster was emptied and transferred to one of two area landfills where police have been searching in hundreds of tons of garbage for the little girl’s body, according to Roark.

A suspect, Daunte Maurice Johnson, is being held at the Sumter County Detention Center, police said. The 28-year-old has been charged with murder and was denied bond, jail records show.

Called a transient by the police, Johnson was seen running away from Bradley’s apartment before officers tracked him down at a nearby residence, according to the release.

While speaking with officers, Johnson said he knew Bradley and confessed to killing her and Neveah, police said. Johnson provided information that could help police find the little girl’s body, according to the news release.

Police said Johnson has a criminal record in other states and is a suspect in a Missouri homicide.

“He has a history of violence against women, domestic violence,” Roark said at the news conference.

The Sumter (SC) Police Department is searching for the body of Nevaeh Lashy Adams, a missing 5-year-old who disappeared after her mother’s dead body was found by a family member. Police said the woman was killed and a suspect is in custody.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.