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Questions Remain in Death of Missing Dallas Toddler Cedric Jackson

A day after the body of an 18-month-old Dallas boy was found in a Rowlett landfill, questions remain about the events leading up to his death.

According to police, CPS had removed Cedric Jackson from his mother's home and placed him with his aunt, Chrystal Jackson, in May.

Dallas County Jail
Sedrick Johnson, 27, charged with injury to a child.

Her boyfriend, Sedrick Johnson, told police he'd swaddled the toddler so tightly in the Lake Highlands apartment that the child stopped breathing. After attempts to do CPR failed, he said he put the boy in a car and drove him to a dumpster.

Johnson was booked in a Dallas County Jail Thursday, charged with felony injury to a child. He is currently being held on $500,000 bond.

Records show Johnson has a pending family violence case from 2016 where he allegedly hit his wife on the arm and a 2010 child abandonment charge for engaging with a prostitute while his 4-month-old daughter was left home alone unsupervised. Johnson's then girlfriend, court documents say, was at a job interview at the time.

When asked if they knew Johnson was often at the residence where they placed the toddler, CPS said they don’t comment on specific cases.

Jackson Family
Cedric Jackson, 18 months, was reported missing July 10. His remains were recovered July 11.

A spokesperson did say that when they consider placing a child with a relative they do background checks on any adult living in the residence and that they would not place a child in a home where they know an adult is present with a serious criminal history. CPS would not offer specific comments about this case or say if they knew Johnson was living in the home or if he had undergone a background check.

Attorney Chris Oldner, who often heard custody cases as a Collin County judge, said the case brings up questions about whether the state did everything to ensure Cedric would be safe.

"One of the questions you're always going to ask is whether there's a criminal history or criminal background, not only for the person they're placing the child with but also anyone else who lives in the home," said Chis Oldner.

He said that means either there had to be some deception or misrepresentation about who was living in the home made by Cedric's aunt. Otherwise he said it would mean CPS dropped the ball, which he believes is unlikely.

Dallas police's Maj. Vincent Weddington says the body of a small child was recovered from a landfill Thursday and that the boyfriend of the child's aunt has been charged with injury to a child.

"It's such a standard, straight-forward protocol to ask that question. It makes me wonder what was represented to them and then of course you wonder what follow up there was to make sure that what they’re representing is accurate," said Oldner.

If there was misrepresentation, Oldner said it's possible Cedric's aunt could also face charges.

Police have said there could be additional charges for Johnson pending the outcome of the investigation.

The parents of 18-month old Cedrick Jackson gathered in Dallas Friday evening along with dozens of family and friends for a vigil and balloon release. Jackson's mother, Dishundra Thomas, became emotional as she remembered her son. "I'd give anything to have my baby back with me right now to hold him one more time, tell him how much we love him, how much we miss him," she said.

The parents of 18-month old Cedrick Jackson gathered in Dallas Friday evening along with dozens of family and friends for a vigil and balloon release. Jackson's mother, Dishundra Thomas, became emotional as she remembered her son. "I'd give anything to have my baby back with me right now to hold him one more time, tell him how much we love him, how much we miss him," she said.
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