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Mother Of Slain NJ Toddler: ‘If He Couldn’t Have His Family, No One Could’

U.S. Marshals Arrest Girl's Father, Arthur Morgan III, In California
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Arthur Morgan III was captured in San Diego, Calif. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011 (credit: CBS 2)

Arthur Morgan III was captured in San Diego, Calif. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011 (credit: CBS 2)

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HOWELL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The nationwide manhunt is over and now authorities are working to extradite a New Jersey man back to the Garden State for allegedly killing his 2-year-old daughter.

U.S. Marshals arrested 27-year-old Arthur Morgan III Tuesday in California after receiving a tip he was staying with friends in the San Diego area.

Prosecutors say Morgan killed his daughter, 2-year-old Tierra Morgan-Glover, during a court-approved visit last week by throwing her off a bridge and into a creek in Wall Township.

Tierra was still strapped in her car seat.

Imani Benton, Tierra’s mother, calls her life right now a living hell.

“I would jump myself off that bridge to bring her back,” she said.

Benton said she had been physically abused by Morgan for years and when she finally decided to leave him, he snapped.

“Me moving on with my life, you know going back to work, doing stuff by myself, being independent and a single mother. With him, if he couldn’t have his family, no one could have his family,” she said.

tierra morgan glover Mother Of Slain NJ Toddler: If He Couldnt Have His Family, No One Could

(credit: CBS 2)

The case is now also being reviewed by Allison Blake, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, who said she is looking into the agency’s interactions with the family in the past.

The child-welfare agency has been involved with the family on and off for more than a year.

On Nov. 9, Morgan reportedly called the agency saying he didn’t know where Tierra was, but the state said his claim as well as other claims he made were unsubstantiated.

Other complaints from the family dealt with domestic violence between Morgan and Benton and about conditions within the home, among others.

Last year, Benton also took parenting classes through the agency, according to Blake, who said Morgan was also offered classes but refused.

Benton says now, justice for her daughter would only come in one form.

“New Jersey should bring the death penalty back and no man should live the rest of his life knowing that he did this,” she said.

But she says knowing that authorities have captured Morgan does ease the pain a bit.

“I’m relieved that they caught him. I can sleep,” Benton said. “I dont’ have to keep looking over my shoulder and thinking that he’s still out there.”

During the nationwide manhunt for Morgan, “America’s Most Wanted” even featured the case on its website.

Morgan was being held Wednesday morning in California. Authorities plan to extradite Morgan back to New Jersey to prosecute him on murder charges.

No word yet on when an extradition hearing will be set.

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