HAYWARD, Calif. (KRON) — A Hayward mother is expected to be in court Monday morning.
Samantha Johnson is charged with the murder of her 8-year-old daughter.
Police say Sophia Mason’s body was found earlier this month at her mother’s boyfriend’s home in Merced.
Dhante Jackson is still wanted in connection to the murder.
The family says they’re having a very difficult time with this situation, and no one is going to be able to be there in court in person.
It will be on Zoom live for them so that they can watch.
It will be their first time seeing Samantha Johnson since Sophia’s death.
“It’s difficult for my aunt, Samantha’s mom, because that’s her child,” said Melissa Harris who is Johnson’s cousin. “But she killed her grandchild, or at least had a roll to play in it.”
Harris will be watching Samantha Johnson’s arraignment live over Zoom.
Johnson is being charged with murder and child abuse of her 8-year-old daughter, sophia mason.
“Our family is not doing well,” Harris said.
She says they had very little contact with Johnson over the last few months of Sophia’s life, and it’s been difficult to hear what Sophia was going through.
“Just hearing that she was kept in a shed and that she was treated in the manner that she was during her last month or so has left our family in a range of anger — it’s a high stress time for us,” Harris said.
The coroner is still working on Sophia’s cause of death.
While Johnson is in jail, her boyfriend, Dhante Jackson, is wanted by police in connection with the murder as well.
But they have yet to find him.
“It’s really frustrating to us, especially because the police had him the night they apprehended Samantha in Newark, and they let him go because they didn’t have probable cause,” Harris said.
Harris says she wishes more national news outlets would pay attention to Sophia’s case and broadcast Jackson’s photo to help find him. She also wishes officials would have done more sooner.
“We still can’t help but wonder if Sophia wasn’t a small black girl, if the CPS and police would have paid attention earlier on,” Harris said.
KRON4 asked Harris what she would say to her cousin, Samantha Johnson, if she could talk to her in court.
“I don’t throw people away. We don’t throw people away. But right now we have a hard time understanding why you did what you did when you know there are so many people who love you and Sophia and would have helped both of you,” Harris said.
Merced police are offering a $3K reward for Dhante Jackson. If you see him, you’re asked to call police.