A North Carolina man was arrested in the murder of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter after calling police and claiming the little girl vanished after he put her down for a nap, officials said.
William “Skip” McCullen, 25, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the death of Jordan Ann Dumont, who he reported missing a day before she was found, Gaston County Police said.
A toddler’s body was discovered about 500 to 750 yards north of the Bessemer City home McCullen shared with Jordan’s mother and another child Tuesday morning, authorities said.
Though an autopsy will officially determine the identity of the deceased, investigators said they were confident they had found the child loved that ones have described on social media as the “sweetest, loveable, funny, happy little girl.”
“We do not believe we’ve gotten the outcome we were hoping for,” Gaston County Police Chief Joseph Ramey told reporters after the body was found.
McCullen, who also goes by “Billy,” allegedly told police he had put Jordan down for a nap and laid down himself, waking up about two and a half hours later to find her gone.
The other child in the home was accounted for.
Jordan is believed to have been killed in the 24 to 36 hours before she was found and had been placed in the woods after her death, Ramey said.
He asked the public to come forward with any knowledge of “Billy’s whereabouts in the past 24 hours; it’s important to the investigation."
Ramey would not say how investigators believe Jordan died or what she was wearing when she was found. The medical examiner’s office will determine the child’s cause of death.
It’s too early to say if there are additional suspects in the case, including Jordan’s mother, he said, noting it is “an ongoing investigation and further charges could be forthcoming.”
Police had been called to the home the couple shared 49 times over the last three years for various issues, including incidents of domestic and noise disturbances, Ramey said.
“It’s been a bad day,” he said after announcing a body was found.
More than 100 people came out to search for the child after she disappeared, including strangers who volunteered their time to locate the little girl.
A candlelight vigil for Jordan is set to take place at 9 p.m. Wednesday at Price’s Arena on Dallas Cherryville Highway.
McCullen is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.