Mom Who Allegedly Offered Baptisms in Florida Canal Named Person of Interest in Death of 2 Daughters
Lauderhill police Lt. Mike Bigwood identified the girls as Daysha Hogan, 7, and Destiny Hogan, 9, and their mother as Tinessa Hogan
Police in Lauderhill, Florida have identified the two girls who were found dead in a canal on Tuesday hours apart.
Lauderhill Police Department Lt. Mike Bigwood revealed during a press conference on Monday that the two girls are sisters: Daysha Hogan, 7, and Destiny Hogan, 9. Officials also showed photos of Daysha and Destiny.
Daysha's body was recovered just after noon and Destiny's body was recovered shortly before 9 p.m., authorities said.
Lt. Bigwood revealed the sisters were last seen with their mother, identified as Tinessa Hogan, at around 5 p.m.
Tinessa is now being looked at as a person of interest in Daysha and Destiny's death, police said. She allegedly was offering baptisms in the canal that runs behind a condominium complex on the day her daughters were found.
"She was in the canal," Lt. Bigwood said. "She was offering to baptize people in the neighborhood."
Several witnesses reported to outlets that they were offered a baptism by Tinessa.
"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 told CBS Miami. "She says God told her, I say 'God didn't tell you anything.' "
Another neighbor, Marie Williams, told the Sun Sentinel that Tinessa offered to baptize her children in the canal, but she declined.
Investigators revealed on Wednesday that Tinessa is in custody, but she hasn't been arrested or interviewed at this point.
"She is not in the community right now and we're not at liberty to say where she is," Lt. Bigwood said. "The mother hasn't been questioned at this point."
On Tuesday, police said Daysha's body showed no obvious signs of trauma, however, Destiny appeared to have pale white hands and there was a white substance on her face.
An autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of death, officials said on Wednesday.
Police are now asking for more help from the public in 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," Lt. Bigwood said.
He added there were no missing persons reported from any family members, no prior incidents regarding the mother on record, and the girls' father has been estranged from them for "at least a decade."
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Daysha was last seen wearing blue-jean shorts and a gray shirt bearing the word "Dance" in rainbow colors and Destiny was dressed in a gray shirt with three cartoon-style women.
It was not immediately clear how long the girls had been in the canal or whether they were connected in any way.
Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS, tip anonymously 954-793-8477(TIPS), or report anonymously online.