MERCED, Calif. (KRON) — Sophia Mason, an 8-year-old from Hayward, was killed in March. For nearly six months, the suspect, 33-year-old Dhante Jackson, was on the run.

Jackson was arrested and taken into custody on Saturday at around 1:40 p.m., the Merced Police Department announced on Facebook. He was arrested in Newark and then will be booked into Merced County Jail for murder and child abuse.

Sophia’s mother, 31-year-old Samantha Johnson, was Jackson’s girlfriend at the time of the girl’s murder. Back in March, Johnson pleaded not guilty to murdering her daughter.

Sophia Mason class photo
Sophia Mason (Photo courtesy Melissa Harris)

Authorities named Jackson a suspect in the death of Sophia after her body was found on March 11 inside a Merced home. Sophia lived most of her life at her grandmother’s house in Hayward, according to Johnson’s cousin Melissa Harris.

YourCentralValley contributed to this report.