Tampa police have arrested a mother after they say she drowned her daughter in the Hillsborough River, just north of the Columbus Drive Bridge.
According to Tampa police, Shakayla Denson, 26, had just stolen a Nissan Altima from an auto fix shop when she parked it near the bridge and went into the water carrying her daughter, Je'Hyrah Daniels. Despite emergency personnel's attempts to revive her, she was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Tampa Police responded to the scene along the Hillsborough River, which runs through Downtown Tampa and retrieved the child, who was eventually pronounced dead, Thursday afternoon.
Police said the girl's mother, 26-year-old Shakayla Denson, had just stolen a Nissan Altima from an autoshop before she "waded" into the water with Daniels.
On Thursday, Denson was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and grand theft motor vehicle in connection with JeHyrah's drowning death in Tampa. She is now at the jail awaiting processing. Once Denson was roughly halfway across the river, she tossed JeHyrah and began wading out.
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"Unfortunately at this point there are more questions than there are answers", Dugan said. "Thirty minutes later our dive team, about 75 feet offshore, recovered the body of a young child".
A photo taken by a neighbor showed a woman wading in the middle of the river, slowly walking back to shore. They were by themselves in the river so I don't know why I took a picture. "We're still piecing the whole thing together".
Though reports indicate a woman, believed to be the victim's mother, was arrested, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said he could offer few additional details about the suspected crime.
"Witnesses say the child was screaming", Dugan explained. "It's a insane world we live in", Dugan said.