TAMPA, Fla. - Investigators provided a timeline from when Shakayla Denson, 26, allegedly stole a vehicle to being charged with drowning her four-year-old daughter in the Hillsborough River on Thursday:
Denson allegedly steals a 2007 Nissan Altima from a car lot at 5604 N. 40th St. in Tampa.
Witnesses said they observed her forcefully pushing a child into the backseat of the car. One witness attempted to intervene and was slightly struck by the car. That person was not injured.
A witness said they saw Denson exit the Nissan near the intersection of North Rome Avenue and West Aileen Street.
Witnesses observed her forcefully remove a child from the backseat and dragging the child by the arm towards the Hillsborough River. Witnesses reported that the child, later identified as Denson's 4-year-old daughter, Je'Hyrah Daniels, was screaming. At one point, both Je'Hyrah and Denson were screaming.
Witnesses said Denson grabbed Je'Hyrah with both arms and pulled her close to her chest as they waded deeper into the water.
The water was near the top of the Denson's shoulders when police said she released Je'Hyrah. Denson then reportedly turned around and headed back to shore.
Denson was walking southbound along North Rome Avenue when she is detained by Tampa police near 2301 N. Oregon Ave. Officers search the river. A Tampa police dive team arrives and begins their search for Je'Hyrah.
The dive team locates Je'Hyrah, who is unconscious. Tampa Fire Rescue rushes her to St. Joseph's Hospital.
Je'Hyrah is declared deceased.
Witnesses positively identify Denson as the woman who dragged Je'Hyrah into the Hillsborough River, police said.
Denson is charged with first-degree felony murder, aggravated child abuse and grand theft auto.
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