TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It was the news the Campbell family has been waiting for, hoping for, and wanting for months. An arrest was finally made in a case that took a precious life from them.
The family of Jasina Campbell admits that while this will never bring back their little girl, they’re glad someone is finally in custody.
“Jasina is a person, Jasina is not just a victim,” said Jasina’s grandmother. “She liked to play, she was 12, she had a lot of things to do.”
Donna Campbell, Jasina’s grandmother, was in tears as she talked about how difficult life has been for the parents of this 12-year-old – losing their sweet girl.
“They have to get up every day, there are days when they can’t. Thank goodness they have family that can help with them,” said Donna Campbell. “But, some days they just can’t get out of bed. They just can’t. Not that day. Not that day.”
Jasina died back in May while she was riding a raft on the Alafia River.
Now, 40-year-old Andrew Miltner is now in custody, accused of killing Jasina.
Officials said around 7 p.m. on May 17, a boat was traveling west in the Alafia River with about six kids and three adults onboard. The boat was also towing two girls on a tube.
Police said Miltner’s boat struck the two girls, resulting in one of them disappearing under the water, not able to be located by anyone on the boat.
The body of the child, later identified as 12-year-old Jasina Campbell was later recovered by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office dive team.
“This is what we mean when we talk about protecting the community,” said Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren. “This is what we’re here to do, this person can’t do this again and this sort of recklessness won’t be tolerated in our community.”
He added, “This is every parents’ worst nightmare.”
Miltner now faces manslaughter charges, with the judge in this case setting his bond at 10 times the normal amount, according to prosecutors.
‘This is a case that is absolutely tragic. Jasina Campbell was a big sister, she went out on that weekend afternoon so that she could have fun with her friend on the water, doing things that kids do. And, this defendant made a decision in that same moment to drink, then to operate a jet ski in a reckless manner,” Assistant State Attorney, Stephanie Pizarro, told 8 On Your Side.
Prosecutors tell 8 On Your Side Miltner has a lengthy criminal history, including felony drug charges as well as DUI arrests from both Florida and Georgia.
Investigators said the reason for the delay in making an arrest was due to a prolonged wait time regarding FLDE’s test results of the Miltner’s blood-alcohol level.