The body of Nevaeh Lashy Adams was found last Friday at a landfill near the town of Elgin, South Carolina, some 40 miles southwest of the city of Sumter where she lived with her mom.
The Sumter Police Department announced Tuesday that DNA tests had confirmed the human remains were those of the little girl.
“This is not the outcome any of us would have wanted," Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark said in a statement, "but we hope this can provide some closure to the family."
It took two weeks to prepare the landfill before authorities could begin searching. Landfill search experts with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified an area where human remains and other evidence in the case would most likely be found.
Then, some 400 people from more than 40 agencies searched through about 4 million pounds of material at the Waste Management-Richland County landfill for Nevaeh's body, according to police.
“The local community and the state as a whole have been profoundly impacted by this case,” Roark said. “It is our hope that the recovery of Nevaeh will provide a sense of peace to her family, the community, and the hundreds of men and women who participated in this effort.”
The little girl had been missing since her mother, 29-year-old Sharee Bradley, was found dead inside their apartment in Sumter on the night of Aug. 5. Nevaeh was nowhere to be found.
Daunte Maurice Johnson, 28, was arrested a short distance away from the crime scene after he was seen fleeing the neighborhood.
Police said Johnson, who was an acquaintance of Bradley's, confessed to killing both the mother and child. He also allegedly provided information that could help authorities locate Nevaeh's body. Police then shifted their missing persons investigation for the little girl to a "recovery effort."
Johnson has been charged with their murders and was being held at the Sumter County Sheriff's Office Detention Center. Police said he has a criminal record in other states and is a suspect in a Missouri homicide.
“We will continue working with the 3rd Circuit Solicitor’s Office to bring this case to trial," Roark said.