Infant Found Dead On Highway Connected To Two Other Deaths

Investigators determined that the infant and her sister, a 7-to-9-year-old child, either “fell or were thrown out" of a moving vehicle.

An infant was found dead next to her injured older sister on the side of a California freeway on Monday, law enforcement said, in an incident believed to be connected to two other deaths, including that of their mother.

California Highway Patrol discovered the two girls at around 4:30 a.m. on an interstate near Culver City and pronounced the younger one dead less than 5 minutes upon arrival, according to a press release shared on Tuesday.

The older girl, who police said was between 7 and 9 years old, sustained moderate injuries and was taken to a local hospital for further medical attention, according to the release.

Investigators determined that the children either “fell or were thrown out the moving vehicle,” according to the release, which identified their mother, Danielle Cherakiyah Johnson, as the primary suspect in the case.

CHP said Johnson is also suspected of killing someone in the nearby city of Woodland Hills. She allegedly fled the scene and made her way to Redondo Beach, but “was involved in a traffic crash” and died from her injuries.

Almost half an hour after CHP located the two girls, the agency said, local police in Redondo Beach reported a woman traveling southbound on the highway who lost control of her vehicle and collided with a tree. Redondo Beach police could not confirm whether this incident was related to the killing in Woodland Hills or to the girls found on the highway.

In an email to HuffPost on Tuesday, Los Angeles County Medical Examiner confirmed the identity of the person found dead in Woodland Hills as Jaelen Allen Chaney.

According to reports by ABC affiliate KABC, Chaney was Johnson’s live-in boyfriend and the two had been together for several years. Authorities have yet to confirm whether Chaney is the girls’ father.

Neighbors of the couple who spoke to local news station KTLA said they heard an argument between a man and woman at around 3 a.m. on Monday. One neighbor said she made a gruesome discovery at the couple’s apartment later that day.

“The door was wide open. There was blood on the floor leading into their apartment and then a trail of it in the hallway leading up to the elevator, and I saw some blood on the wall,” the neighbor told KTLA. “So, I just freaked out and called my dad immediately to come and check it out.”

Chaney was found dead inside his apartment of apparent stab wounds, police told KTLA.

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