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Mom, boyfriend arrested after dead 4-year-old girl falsely reported missing kept in trash bags around other kids for ‘several weeks’: Cops

Brittney Jackson, Jaylon Hobson, and Sequoia Samuels (Shelby County Sheriff's Office and MPD)

Jaylon Hobson, Brittney Jackson, and Sequoia Samuels (Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and MPD)

A Tennessee mother and her boyfriend were arrested last week for falsely reporting the woman’s 4-year-old daughter missing when they had actually beaten the little girl to death and hidden her body several weeks earlier, police allege.

Brittney Jackson and Jaylon Hobson were both taken into custody on Friday and charged in connection to the death of young Sequoia Samuels. Jackson has been charged with aggravated child neglect, abuse of a corpse, and false offense reporting, while Hobson faces one count of false offense reporting.

The Memphis Police Department on Thursday, June 15, issued a City Watch Endangered Child Alert for Samuels after Jackson and Hobson reported the girl missing. Jackson allegedly told investigators that when she woke up that morning at around 7:55 a.m., she found that the front door of her home in the 200 block of Caldwell Avenue was open and Sequoia was not inside of the house. Sequoia was described as standing around 3 feet tall, weighing 30 pounds, and having a feeding tube on the left side of her stomach.

The girl was last seen on a neighbor’s video doorbell footage leaving her house and walking on the street along at approximately 3 a.m. Thursday morning.

In a press release issued on Friday, however, MPD said that “after several hours of a relentless effort” to find Sequoia, investigators “discovered a body believed to be the child’s remains” in the 200 block of Caldwell Avenue.

“The remains were found in close proximity to the apartment where Sequoia resided with her family,” police wrote.

While announcing the arrests of Jackson and Hobson in connection with Sequoia’s death, cops thanked members of the public and other law enforcement agencies for their help on the case.

“The Memphis Police Department is grateful for the assistance provided by our officers, multiple local, state, and federal law enforcement entities, and the numerous community members who, without hesitation, joined us in the search for little Sequoia,” authorities said. “This has been an emotional time for our employees and our community as we worked relentlessly together to find her. We are beyond heartbroken this morning and are praying for strength for everyone involved as we investigate this tragic loss.”

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by the Daily Memphian, investigators believe that Sequoia actually died “several weeks” before Jackson and Hobson reported her missing.

In an interview with police, Jackson allegedly admitted that she made the false report, claiming that Hobson actually “physically attacked” Sequoia multiple times over the course of several weeks before she ultimately succumbed to her injuries.

“After the last attack, [Samuels] became unresponsive. Hobson attempted to revive Samuels; however, she never regained consciousness. Jackson never attempted to render aid to her daughter,” the affidavit reportedly said.

Investigators reportedly said that Hobson then placed the girl’s body in “several garbage bags” and stored the remains at the house on Caldwell Avenue for weeks. During that time three other children — ages four, five, and six — were also residing in the home.

Prior to reporting Sequoia missing, the couple allegedly discarded the girl’s remains in a garbage dump near their home, the Memphian reported.

Hobson repeatedly denied having any involvement with Sequoia’s disappearance or death.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.