Child pulled from Hillsborough River in Tampa river dies, woman in custody

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.

A dive team went into the water at 4:30 p.m. and located an "unconscious child submerged about 75 feet off shore", police said.

The 4-year-old was reportedly transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police discovered an unconscious child submerged in Hillsborough River on August 2, 2018, in Tampa, Fla.

It didn't take long for police to find and apprehend Denson, as authorities say she was walking nearby while the search and rescue operation was underway.

Tampa police say the investigation has determined that Denson stole a grey Nissan Altima from an auto fix shop before forcefully putting JeHyrah in the back seat.

A witness who saw Denson force her daughter into the auto tried to stop them from leaving, but was hit by the vehicle as Denson drove away. "We're still digging into Denson and what her state of mind is", said Dugan.

The water was near the top of the Denson's shoulders when she released Je'Hyrah into the water, police said.

Some witnesses said they could see the girl's hands above the water - then they disappeared.

It was not known if Je'Hyrah was dead before she was thrown into the water.

Witnesses reported that the child, later identified as Denson's 4-year-old daughter, Je'Hyrah Daniels, was screaming, police said. They were by themselves in the river so I don't know why I took a picture. Witnesses saw her do it, investigators said.

A child protective services report obtained by The Tampa Bay Times details a June investigation into Benson and her daughter, who the report notes was a special needs child.


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