Cedric Jackson

For 36 hours, Lake Highlands neighbors held our collective breath waiting for news of the condition and whereabouts of 18-month-old Cedric “CJ” Jackson. Now we can exhale – and grieve. Dallas police say CJ is dead. They found his body in Rowlett’s Hinton Landfill today/Thursday.

Police obtained a confession from Sedrick Johnson, the 27-year-old boyfriend of CJ’s aunt, Crystal Jackson. Johnson said he “swaddled” the child “in his blanket on the floor, at the foot of the bed,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Johnson began regularly restricting CJ’s movements after the child “made a mess” with ketchup packets, according to the warrant. About 12:30 a.m., the child began making noise and throwing up. Johnson says he attempted CPR, but when it didn’t work, he drove the child somewhere else and threw him into a trash dumpster. Police traced the sanitation crew’s pickup route and found the body today.

Jackson’s initial story was that she put the child to bed Tuesday night and woke up Wednesday to find him missing. Another juvenile in the home described seeing Sedrick’s father snatch CJ, and the elder Johnson has been in jail ever since on unrelated charges. Police have not explained this discrepancy or said whether Sedrick’s father, Harold, is still being questioned in this case.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services today removed six children from the home, including two belonging to CJ’s aunt and four belonging to Johnson. At the condo, maintenance workers were seen making repairs to the front door and a broken window, WFAA-TV reports. It’s not clear how or when the damage occurred.

Johnson has been arrested on a felony charge of injury to a child and is being held in the Dallas County jail.