We may never know why Shakayla Denson killed her four-year-old daughter.
Maybe she’s mentally ill or perhaps just pure evil. Whatever the reason, toddler Je’Hyrah Daniels is no longer here and it is beyond tragic.
Denson threw her daughter off a bridge and into a Florida river on Thursday. Je’Hyrah’s lifeless body was found in the Hillsborough River at around 4:30pm.
Her Mother Has Been Charged With Murder
26-year-old Shakayla Denson has been charged with first-degree murder. Authorities say the mother stole a car hours before killing her daughter in St. Petersburg.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan was called to the chaotic scene that was witnessed by many people.
‘It’s a crazy scene that we are still unraveling many of the pieces,’ Dugan said in a statement to WSVN.
‘The mom is in custody, and right now we are sorting through to get answers,’ Dugan said.
‘That’s why I say we believe it’s her child, but we are trying to piece this whole thing together.’
Within a half hour, police located the body of Je’Hyrah Daniels approximately 75 feet off shore. She was sadly pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Denson was taken into police custody after she was found walking aimlessly near the scene.
Witnesses Were Shaken By What They Saw
Witnesses were left shaken when they saw Denson toss her child in the river.
The incident happened near West Aileen Street and Rome Avenue shortly before. Bystanders frantically called police and ambulances.
Romano Muniz, 31, who lives nearby, told The Tampa Bay Times he watched first responders pull Je’Hyrah’s body from the river. They then tried in vain to save the little girl’s life.
“It’s disgusting,” Muniz said.
Dugan said investigators are questioning witnesses but many were “shaken up” after seeing the incident.