A Tampa woman accused of dropping her four-year-old daughter in a river and letting her drown made her first appearance before a judge on Friday.
Tampa police say Denson drove Je'Hyrah Daniels in a stolen vehicle Thursday to the Hillsborough River, waded in with the girl, tossed her into the water, and walked away.
The 4-year-old was reportedly transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later.
Officials didn't immediately identify the woman or the girl. "Both witness #3 and #4 observed the defendant walk into the water with the child by arm and the defendant began to scream loudly", said the affidavit.
Officers said they found Denson walking near the scene.
News outlets report 26-year-old Shakayla Denson is charged with first-degree murder in the Thursday death of Je'Hyrah Daniels.
"I just want to provide an update on the situation we had yesterday which was quite frankly, tragic, chaotic and unbelievable", said Chief Dugan. Rescue divers pulled her from the water about 30 minutes later.
Denson is accused of stealing a car from an auto fix shop, then parking the vehicle on North Rome Avenue, police said.
"My daughter was recently diagnose with autism spectrum, my goal is to start saving for therapy equipment, and also for je'hyrah's future".
Some witnesses said they could see the girl's hands above the water - then they disappeared.
Police say this remains an active investigation. "I don't know the circumstances, I don't know what's happening in their lives, but it's killing me". "Then everybody going full attack mode to make sure she got in the ambulance and then taken to St. Joe's".
Neighbor Shantia Little told the Tampa Bay Times that Denson would frequently leave Je'Hyrah and a young niece and nephew alone in her apartment.
It was not known if Je'Hyrah was dead before she was thrown into the water.
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