Child dies after reportedly being thrown into river; mother suspected

WFTS Police discovered an unconscious child submerged in Hillsborough River on Aug. 2 2018 in Tampa Fla

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A woman accused of throwing her four-year-old daughter into a Florida river to drown has been denied bail on first-degree murder charges. Emergency services rushed the girl to St. Joseph's Hospital where she was pronounced dead. "Both witness #3 and #4 observed the defendant walk into the water with the child by arm and the defendant began to scream loudly", said the affidavit.

"Unfortunately at this point, there are a lot more questions than answers", said Dugan, who called the situation a "completely tragic event".

"Eventually, we just saw the scuba divers out there pulling up with a body", said resident Romano Muniz.

She said she didn't see a child, but thought something wasn't right.

Denson, authorities say, first stole a vehicle from a local auto shop and then drove to the water with her daughter. Benson told investigators her daughter was in elementary school and she was trying to get her into therapy and enrollment in an autism center. "We're still piecing the whole thing together".

Tampa police and and a trained diving team arrived at the scene at about 4:30 p.m. and recovered the girl's body from under the water about 75 feet from the shore.


"She was walking not far from the scene", police said in a statement. They were by themselves in the river so I don't know why I took a picture.

"The water was then near the top of (the mother's shoulders) when she released Je'Hyrah into the water".

Denson is also facing charges of child abuse and grand theft auto.

In 2015, police say a man threw his 5-year-old daughter to her death off the Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg.

Neighbor Shantia Little told the Tampa Bay Times that Denson would frequently leave Je'Hyrah and a young niece and nephew alone in her apartment. She "forcefully" pushed Je'Hyrah into the back seat and drove away, Dugan said.

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