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On September 1, Elizabeth Salone, 27, asked her ex-boyfriend, Deandre Chaney Jr., 23,  to watch her kids while she dropped her brother off at work at 5:30 am. When she returned home at 6:10 am, tragedy had literally struck her family.

According to an arrest warrant obtained by the Sacramento Bee, upon entering the home, Salone heard one of her children crying and went to check on them. That’s when she was struck at least three times with a hammer from behind and continued to be hit as she ran for her bedroom. Salone told investigators she was then tied up and soaked with lighter fluid before her ex took her car keys, cell phone, some money and fled the scene.

Though investigators are still trying to piece together the events that led to the death of Salone’s 8-year-old son, Dante Daniels, according to the Washington Post, a criminal complaint filed September 15 by the Sacramento County district attorney alleges “Chaney was ‘engaged in the crime of committing a lewd or lascivious act on a child’ when he beat Dante with the hammer.” The child who was allegedly being sexually assaulted was Dante’s 7-year-old sister who was also beat with a hammer. Dante was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared brain dead and died six days later.

Sacramento police told WaPo they can’t confirm the above mentioned details provided by Dante’s family until the investigation is complete. However, Chaney’s criminal past supports the allegations. “Nearly a year ago, in October 2016, he pleaded no contest to a charge of failing to register as a sex offender,” the Sacramento Bee reported. “In 2014, he pleaded no contest to a charge of felony battery with serious bodily injury. In 2011, he pleaded no contest to a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, Sacramento Superior Court records show.” Chaney was also charged with second-degree robbery in 2007; rape and forced oral copulation in 2007; forced oral copulation in 2008 and lewd acts with a dependant adult as a caretaker in 2009.

After an hours-long manhunt, the Winnemucca Police Department took Chaney into custody at 8:46 am Saturday, September 2. He is facing charges of murder, attempted murder, and performing lewd acts with a minor under 14.

Salone’s left eye was badly damaged during the attack while her daughter is recovering from her injuries. A GoFundMe was set up in Dante’s name and already surpassed its initial goal of raising $50,000. Donations can still be sent here.

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