Child thrown into Tampa river; mother charged with murder

Child thrown into Tampa river; mother charged with murder

News outlets report 26-year-old Shakayla Denson is charged with first-degree murder in the Thursday death of Je'Hyrah Daniels.

Witnesses say Denson grabbed Je'Hyrah with both arms and pulled her close to her chest as the mother waded deeper into the water, according to authorities. The sheriff's office said no further details would be released.

Officers who responded tried to go into the dark, murky water, but it wasn't until a police dive team arrived that the girl was found.

Doctors at a nearby hospital pronounced the girl dead about 4:50 p.m.

Denson was walking southbound along North Rome Avenue when she is detained by Tampa police near 2301 N. Oregon Ave.

She was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail shortly before midnight on charges of murder, aggravated child abuse and grand theft auto, records show.

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"I saw a woman in the river which is very odd".

"It is tragic, chaotic and just downright unbelievable all at the same time", Dugan said at a Friday news conference. That's when witnesses say the owner of that vehicle told Denson to get out, but not before they say Denson invited a random child along for the ride. Police say she then dropped her daughter in the water and walked away.

Denson has a rap sheet filled with minor crimes, including arrests for driving with a suspended license, and theft charges dating back two years. The report adds that the little girl was discovered unconscious about 75 feet offshore.

Erica Green is one of several residents at the complex who described Denson's erratic behavior.

The incident is similar to a January 2015 case where John Jonchuck Jr., then 25, allegedly threw his 5-year-old daughter, Phoebe, off the Dick Misener Bridge in St. Petersburg. His trial is set to begin in late September.

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