Florida mom charged with murder after daughters’ bodies found in canal
Neighbors told police that the girls' mother had been at the canal offering to baptize people
The Florida mother who was arrested in late June after the bodies of her two young daughters were pulled from a canal was arrested on Tuesday and charged with murder.
As previously reported by theGrio, Tinessa Hogan, 36, was considered a person of interest after the bodies of her daughters Destiny Hogan, 9, and Daysha Hogan, 7, were found in a canal eight hours apart. Hogan was taken into custody at the time, but was not under arrest, according to police in Lauderhill, a town located 30 miles north of Miami.
Hogan’s neighbors told local police that she had been at the canal offering to baptize people.
“She was in the water swimming, she had a Bible and she told me to come here. I said, ‘Why?’ She said she wanted to baptize me,” neighbor Lawana Johnson said about Hogan to CBS Miami. “She says God told her, I say ‘God didn’t tell you anything.'”
According to an NBC News report, the girls were last seen with their mother near the creek where the bodies were found. The body of Daysha reportedly showed no obvious signs of trauma. Her older sister’s hands, though, were pale white. An unknown white substance was found on young Destiny’s face.
At the time of the discovery, police asked the public to assist with the investigation.
“Any knowledge of the family, the family dynamic, activities that the family engaged in together, just general information about who they were and what their day to day life was like would be extremely helpful,” Lauderhill Police Department Lt. Mike Bigwood said.
It was Hogan’s neighbor, Lawana Johnson, who discovered one of the corpses. “It shocked me,” she said. “I froze, then I started to cry.”
Another neighbor, Loanna Jones, said, “One of the neighbors noticed something floating in the water, and we went to look, and it was a little girl. A little baby. Somebody’s child.”
Amon Hilt, the father of three daughters, told WSVN that he arrived home to the news of the second girl’s body being found.
“I had came from my friend’s house, and my other friend had said, ‘Hey man, there’s a body in the lake.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I heard about it.’ He was like, ‘No, there’s a body in the lake right now,’” Hilt said.
“I have three little girls and it’s tragic. I ran upstairs real quick and I hugged them,” he added.
The girls lived with their mother and there is no history of calls to police or child protective services, according to investigators. The father of the victims is reportedly estranged from the family.
Hogan had been in hospital care due to her erratic behavior in the days prior to her daughters’ deaths. She has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, PEOPLE reports.
A motive for the killings is unclear.
“We’re hoping that the community reaches out and helps puts some context to how this may have happened,” Bigwood said.
The Lauderhill Police Department is calling on anyone with information about Hogan and her daughters to contact them at 954-497-4700 or to contact Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477 (TIPS).
theGrio’s Biba Adams contributed to this report.
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