Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Mom accused of drowning daughter had been cleared of abuse

Mom accused of drowning daughter had been cleared of abuse

Tampa police say the woman, Shakayla Denson, 26, was arrested on several charges, including first-degree felony murder in the death of her daughter, Je'Hyrah Daniels. Je'Hyrah is delivered to Tampa Fire Rescue and rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital.

At around 4 p.m. calls started coming into police from witnesses who saw the mother park near the river then drag the girl by her arms from the vehicle into the water.

Witnesses observed her forcefully remove a child from the backseat, dragging the child by the arm, headed toward the Hillsborough River, police said.

10News looked into Denson's criminal background and learned she's been arrested for driving with a suspended license and for theft charges dating back two years ago.

"It's a completely tragic event", Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan told reporters at the scene.

Dugan said investigators are questioning witnesses but many were "shaken up" after seeing the incident.

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The Sheriff's Office released a statement Friday afternoon saying that on June 19, their Child Protection Investigation Division looked into a report of "inadequate supervision" against Denson.

A witness said they saw Denson exit the Nissan near the intersection of North Rome Avenue and West Aileen Street.

From her third-floor condominium unit near the river, Vicki Walker took cellphone images of the curious site of a woman in the water and shared the pictures with Tampa Bay television station WFTS. Search and dive teams responded immediately and found the body of a young girl approximately 30 minutes after the initial report. Police say she drove to the bridge on Thursday but right now they have more questions than answers about this crime.

In January 2015, a father allegedly threw his 5-year-old daughter off the Dick Misener Bridge in St. Petersburg.

Witnesses told police that Denson dragged the screaming girl to the water, waded in until she was shoulder deep and pushed the girl into the current to float away.

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