Police have arrested a 26-year-old Florida woman who reportedly threw her 4-year-old autistic daughter into a river and let her drown.
Shakayla “Kayla” Denson, has been charged with first-degree murder after police received a call that her daughter Je’Hyrah Daniels had been thrown in the Hillsborough River, according to a press release from the Tampa Bay Police Department.
Tampa Bay police found the little girl unconscious in the water about 75 feet from shore and emergency personnel was unable to resuscitate her, PEOPLE reports.
The 4-year-old little girl was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Denson was picked up as she walked near the crime scene and police arrested her. According to a press release, Denson reportedly stole a grey Nissan Altima from a vehicle repair store, drove to the Hillsborough River.
Denson was also charged with aggravated child abuse and grand theft auto.
Tonight at 11pm on @10NewsWTSP We’re learning more about #Tampa mom Shakayla Denson charged w/the murder of her 4yo after police say the child was tossed in the Hillsborough River. Her erratic behavior witnesses describe after they say she left the river. https://t.co/pskPCS8DK2 pic.twitter.com/Y3mcpQCy1x
— Sarah Rosario (@sarahbrosario) August 3, 2018
“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.”
According to a witness, Denson was carrying a Bible and was wearing a bra and leggings.
Witnesses say Shakayla Denson waded into the Hillsborough River with her 4-year-old daughter. Roughly halfway across the river, she tossed the child and began wading out, police say.
— ABC Action News (@abcactionnews) August 3, 2018
Police found that Denson was recently seeking donations for her daughter and had created a GoFundMe account for her daughter asking for assistance to help treat her autism.
“My goal is to start saving for therapy equipment, and also for Je’Hyrah’s future,” Denson wrote on the post titled “Life with Je’Hyrah.”