A New Jersey man suspected of killing his 2-year-old daughter by tossing her into a creek while she was still strapped in her car seat has been captured in California. The U.S. Marshals Service in San Diego confirmed that 27-year-old Arthur Morgan III was arrested Tuesday afternoon.Steve Jurman, the office's supervising deputy, said Morgan was captured at a home in San Diego around 4:30 p.m. PST. Jurman said his office got a tip from New Jersey authorities that Morgan might be at the home, and surveillance was conducted there for most of the day. Morgan was then spotted on the home's back porch and, after a brief period where it appeared he might try to flee, Morgan was captured without incident. He was taken to the San Diego County jail, where he will remain pending extradition proceedings, informs Washington Post.
Benton quickly began making calls as family and friends scoured the internet for news updates. Family members said they were surprised Morgan was captured so quickly. Morgan was arrested this evening in San Diego by U.S. Marshals following an eight-day manhunt that began with Tierra's disappearance and discovery last week. He is charged in Ocean County with murder, child endangerment and interfering with a court order, and has been charged by the FBI with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. The Monmouth County man remains in custody in San Diego tonight pending extradition to New Jersey, says The Star-Ledger - NJ.com.
On November 22, a group of boys discovered the body of Morgan's daughter partly submerged in a stream in Shark River Park in Monmouth County, officials said. She was strapped into her car seat. The stream runs beneath an overpass, suggesting that the child, Tierra Morgan-Glover, and the car seat were thrown from the overpass, said Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni. Morgan was supposed to return the child to her mother the night of November 21 following a custody visit, Gramiccioni said. When he didn't return the girl, prosecutors in Ocean County charged him the next morning with endangering the welfare of a child and interfering with child custody. The girl was found dead about 20 hours later, according to CNN.
Tierra's death came on the heels of years of conflict within the family. Benton and Morgan met three years ago at Cathedral International, the same Asbury Park church in which their daughter's funeral services were held Monday. He seemed polite, nice then, came to every doctor's visit when she was pregnant, Benton said, but became more controlling after Tierra was born. Benton is a Lakewood High School graduate who works as a home health aide. Morgan, who spent some of his younger years in California, had been working as a steel cutter at Creative Building Supply in Lakewood. They were trying to make ends meet and keep their family together while living in an apartment in Eatontown. This, despite stretches of joblessness, financial troubles and violence between the couple Asbury Park Press, reports Asbury Park Press.