On Tuesday, North Carolina police believed they found the remains of 3-year-old Jordan Ann Dumont and subsequently filed murder charges against her mother’s boyfriend, 21-year-old Billy McCullen.
Neighbor Dustee Connard tells PEOPLE the news wasn’t a complete shock to her because she’d seen disturbing signs from the home McCullen shared with Jordan and her mother, Jaylene Dumont.
“We could sit on our front porch and we could hear [McCullen and Dumont] fighting with the kids in the house. Jaylene was screaming, ‘Please stop, please Billy,'” Connard says.
Connard says she and her family called police three times in the last six months. In the last three years, 49 service calls were made to McCullen and Dumont’s home, police said Tuesday.
“[Dumont] would tell police everything was fine, that nothing was wrong,” Connard says. “It’s just horrible.”
Connard says she grew worried at the family’s Easter egg hunt this year when she saw Jordan with a bruise on her face.
“Jordan was a beautiful little girl,” Connard remembers. “When she came down here she loved to play around the yard but you would see bruises on her.”
During the egg hunt, when Connard asked Jordan what happened, she allegedly replied she fell. According to police records obtained by PEOPLE, authorities responded to more than a dozen calls to the home between Easter and her disappearance on Monday.
Connard says she never saw McCullen hurt Jordan, Dumont or the couple’s 13-month-old daughter, Angel herself. However, she says her daughter told her she saw McCullen allegedly smack Jordan so hard she fell off the house’s porch before yanking Jordan up by the arm and bringing her inside.
“It just blows my mind,” Connard says.
“[Jaylene] would say it was nothing. I couldn’t even image my girls [being treated like that] and of course I was concerned.”
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On Monday afternoon, McCullen reported Jordan missing, telling police that at 1 p.m. he put Jordan down for a nap and took a nap himself. He said when he awoke two hours later he realized she was not home and the front door was open.
On Tuesday, authorities announced they had found remains they believe belong to Jordan and arrested McCullen for first-degree murder.
“It appears the remains are that of Jordan Ann Dumont,” the Gaston County Police said in a press release, which added, “Tests will need to be conducted by the medical examiner’s office to determine a positive identification of the remains as well as the cause of death.”
At a press conference, Gaston County Police Chief Joseph Ramey said “further charges could be forthcoming,” and that authorities will “see where additional evidence leads us.”
McCullen has not entered a plea and it is not known whether he has an attorney.