SEARCY, Ark. (KTHV) - THV11 has been following the story for over a year, the case of 2-year-old Malik Drummond finally comes to a close.
Drummond vanished in November of last year, and now Malik's dad is sitting behind bars for his murder.
Many times closure can offer solace, but in the case of missing Searcy boy Malik Drummond, the closure that came Wednesday only brought everyone's worst fears to life
"I started crying and woke my brother up and told him Jeff killed Malik," said Nikki Slatton, family friend.
Police wouldn't say what evidence came forward, only that they had enough to arrest the boy's 43-year-old father Tuesday night, charging him with capital murder and abuse of a corpse.
"It was never off our radar, but we couldn't make an arrest based on assumption," said Sgt. Steve Hernandez with the Searcy Police Department. "It's bittersweet. We're happy to get the resolution for the family, the closure for the family, but at the same time we have a two and a half year old that is no longer with us."
Police say details are scarce as the investigation is still open. 'How Malik died?', 'what led them to Clifton?' and 'who else may be involved?' are questions yet to be answered.
"We had to get concrete evidence that would put him in jail and to get a conviction. It's taken a year, but we wanted to do it right," Hernandez added.
The community has found closure, but they continue to try and find solace
"I couldn't see anything like this happening to a 2-year-old," said one Searcy community member.
Clifton's first court appearance was Wednesday morning. He is being held at the White County Detention Facility without bond.
Searcy police stated that humain remains were found on Wednesday in a field in a rural part of Jackson County, northeast from the boy's home. Police believe this to be the remains of Malik Drummond.