LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. – A Pennsylvania man has been arrested for reportedly raping and killing his ex-girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter, then hiding the child’s body in the basement freezer. Jason Jerod Shackelford was identified by authorities as the suspect. He taken into custody on Friday and charged with one count of criminal homicide in the little girl’s horrific death, Lancaster County officials confirmed.
On Feb. 10, 2023, officers with the East Lampeter Township Police Department were dispatched to the Wyndham Lancaster hotel at 2300 Lincoln Highway East regarding a domestic disturbance. Officers made contact with Shackelford and a woman believed to be his ex-girlfriend, according to Law&Crime.
The woman told officers that while she was working the night shift on Feb. 8 into Feb. 9, Shackelford told her that he kidnapped the woman’s daughter from her residence in the 500 block of Avenue H in Columbia.
Columbia Police said the woman and Shackelford were going through a breakup, and she recently asked him to move out. She received a text while at work around 6:35 a.m. on Feb. 9 from Shackelford saying her daughter was sick and in bed. When she returned home from work around 7:45 a.m., Shackelford and his ex got into an argument, and Shackelford showed her the daughter’s empty bed. Shackelford reportedly said he took the girl to New York, and she was safe. The woman said Shackelford raped her before forcing her to leave to the Wyndham Lancaster hotel with him, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
Shackelford reportedly used the child’s well-being as leverage and sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend again at the hotel before allowing her to go smoke a cigarette. At this time, the woman alerted hotel staff to call the police.
Officers took custody of Shackelford and transported him to the Columbia Borough Police Department. During an interview, he admitted to raping and killing the woman’s 12-year-old daughter, according to investigators. He also acknowledged concealing the girl’s body in a freezer in the basement.
During an initial search of the home by the Columbia Borough Police Department, officers discovered the body of a juvenile female located inside a chest freezer in the basement of the home, according to authorities.
The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office charged Shackelford with criminal homicide. He is currently housed in Lancaster County Prison.
The DA’s office said additional charges may be filed pending the results of an autopsy and further investigation.