A Florida woman was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after she allegedly tossed her 4-year-old daughter into a river

By Alexia Fernandez
August 02, 2018 11:39 PM
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Credit: GoFundMe

A Florida woman was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after she allegedly tossed her 4-year-old daughter into a river.

Shakayla “Kayla” Denson, 26, was arrested on Thursday when Tampa Bay police received a call about a little girl that had been thrown into the Hillsborough River, according to a press release from the Tampa Bay Police Department.

Denson’s daughter, Je’Hyrah Daniels, was found unconscious in the water about 75 feet from shore. Despite emergency personnel’s attempts to revive her, she was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Tampa Bay police allegedly saw Denson walking nearby and took her into custody. Denson had allegedly stolen a grey Nissan Altima from a vehicle repair store, drove to the Hillsborough River where she waded into the water with her daughter, police said in the release.

Once in the water, Denson allegedly threw her daughter into the river and began to walk out.

Shakayla Denson
| Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Denson’s motive is unclear, and while police are investigating the incident not much headway has been made as to why Denson would allegedly drown her daughter.

“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.

She was also charged with aggravated child abuse and grand theft auto, according to Fox News. It is unclear if she has retained an attorney.

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Denson 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.”