Mother Who Threw Her Child Into River Charged With Murder

A 26-year-old mother has been charged with murder after wading into the Hillsborough River and dropping her 4-year-old daughter in, detectives said.

Shakayla Denson, of Tampa, was charged with first-degree felony murder, aggravated child abuse and grand theft auto.

Denson is accused of stealing a car from an auto repair shop, then parking the vehicle, walking into the river at about 4 p.m. and leaving her daughter, Je’Hyrah Daniels, in the water.

Witnesses saw her do it, investigators said. “At approximately 4:30 p.m., a dive team member discovered an unconscious child submerged about 75 feet off shore,” a police statement said.

Je’Hyrah was pronounced dead at a hospital. Denson was apprehended while walking near where the child was dumped in the river.

She has previous arrests for driving with a suspended license and theft charges dating back two year ago.
“Unfortunately, at this point, there are a lot more questions than answers,” said Dugan, who called the situation a “completely tragic event. “It’s a crazy world we live in,” he said.

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