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'I can’t lose that hope': Family stays positive as search continues for Sumter girl's body

The search continues for 5-year-old Neveah Adams, after a man claimed he killed her and her mother.

SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. — As the search continues for the body of a missing 5-year-old Sumter girl, many of her family members remain hopeful she is still out there. 

Community members have been dropping by balloons, stuffed animals, flowers and cards at the home of Neveah Adams and her mother Sharee Bradley.

"I can’t lose that hope and faith," Neveah's father, Dupray Adams, said Wednesday.

Police said they believe 28-year-old Daunte Johnson killed Neveah's mother Sharee Bradley. While in custody he told officers he Neveah and dumped her body in a dumpster near their home.

Sumter police shifted their search for the missing girl to a recovery, but even with that assumption from law enforcement, Adams remains hopeful.

"They haven’t presented anything to me just the information that we’ve gotten as far as what is going on with the landfill," Adams said. "They didn’t find her there or in any dumpster which he supposedly admitted to, so my hopes are higher she is still alive.”

Bradley’s father, Elijah Nelson, also has hope his granddaughter is alive, while he mourns the loss of his child.

"Sharee was a very beautiful person, she was a very beautiful person, mentally, physically and personality, and everything was beautiful about her," Nelson said. "She was not a bad person and she certainly did not deserve what she got.”

Officers conducted both aerial and ground searches on Wednesday in Sumter. While no traces of Neveah's body yet, her father won’t give up as he prays to see his daughter again.

"I would be holding her right now, holding her and crying so I couldn’t say anything just holding her so tight and whisper in her ear daddy's got you, you don’t have to worry about being unsafe or scared again," Adams said.

Neveah's family said they are very thankful for all the help and support from the community.