A young mom identified as 26-year-old Shakayla Denson, who threw her 4-year-old daughter Je’Hyrah Daniels into the Hillsborough River on Thursday, has been charged with first-degree felony murder and aggravated child abuse.
The child sank almost immediately as the young mom left onlookers mortified following the sad act. The little girl was pulled out at around 4.30pm local time, after divers searched the river for hours, looking for her body.
Despite emergency personnel’s best attempts to resuscitate her, Je’Hyrah was found unconscious and taken to nearby St Joseph’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Though the motive for the murder is unclear, it was gathered that Shakayla had stolen a grey Nissan Altima from a local car repair garage before killing her daughter, so she was also charged with Grand Theft Auto.
Denson was apprehended while walking near where the child was dumped in the river, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said.
“Unfortunately at this time, there are much more questions than there are answers,” Police Chief Brian Dugan told reporters according to Fox 13 News. “It’s the craziness of the world we live in at this time.”
The arrested mom had created a GoFundMe for her daughter nine months ago which is titled “Life with Je’Hyrah.” In the post, Denson explained her daughter had been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.
“My goal is to start saving for therapy equipment, and also for Je’Hyrah’s future,” Denson wrote. “I’ve also gathered interest in reaching out to others living with autism, and would enjoy providing strategies and resources I’ve [learned] to help them get [through] the day. Thanks and I appreciate it.”
Denson has previous arrests for driving with a suspended license and theft charges dating back two year ago. She has been remanded in prison custody pending her arraignment before a court.