Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Mother charged with murder after allegedly tossing daughter into Hillsborough River

Mother charged with murder after allegedly tossing daughter into Hillsborough River

Tampa police have arrested a mother after they say she drowned her daughter in the Hillsborough River, just north of the Columbus Drive Bridge.

At about 4:06 p.m., police began getting calls about a child in the river, according to WFTS-TV (Tampa Bay). She was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

A girl died Thursday afternoon after being thrown into the Hillsborough River, according to Tampa police.

"You can imagine we do have a few witnesses that called us, and they're kind of shaken up a bit", Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said at the scene, "and so it's a insane scene that we are still unraveling numerous pieces".

Authorities said Denson stole a gray Nissan Altima from a fix shop before driving to the river.

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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. "It's a insane world we live in". She was walking not far from the scene.

She has been taken to jail and held without bond, charged with first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and grand theft auto charges. After getting halfway across the river, tossed her child and headed back to shore. "We're going to have to figure out what her mindset was that took her and put her in a place where she would leave a four-year-old to drown in the Hillsborough River". "We're still piecing the whole thing together". Witnesses saw her do it, investigators said.

On Jan. 8, 2015, 5-year-old Pheobe was thrown off the Dick Misener Bridge into Tampa Bay by her father, John Jonchuck.

The report says someone accused Benson of being overwhelmed by the challenges of raising the child as a single mother and would pay little attention to Je'Hyrah, allowing her to wander off without supervision.

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