The case of a missing two-year-old has been worrying residents of Searcy, Arkansas, for over a year. But this week, police announced a break in the case, with the arrest on murder charges of the toddler’s own father.
On Tuesday, December 1, Searcy police announced the arrest of 43-year-old Jeffery Leroy Clifton—father of missing Malik Drummond—on charges of capital murder and abuse of a corpse.
The disappearance of the child a year ago shocked and worried the community.
In November of 2014, Clifton’s girlfriend told police that the child wandered off while the accused was sleeping. Once the story broke, dozens of local residents organized a search party to help look for the missing child, and searches reached up to 50 miles from the child’s home. The search went on for a week after the disappearance before being called off.
The missing child’s mother, Tanya Drummond, said that Clifton turned himself in to police because “his conscience was eating him alive.”
Only weeks ago, the FBI offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to a suspect in the case.
Citing their ongoing investigation, police did not release more information on the case, including whether or not they had found the child’s body, which until now is still thought to be missing.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.