Mother accused of tossing 4-year-old daughter into Hillsborough River charged with murder

Hillsborough County

A Tampa mother accused of throwing her 4-year-old daughter into the Hillsborough River has been arrested on a charge of first degree murder and is being held without bond at the Hillsborough County Jail.

Tampa police divers recovered the body of Je’Hyrah Daniels from the Hillsborough River on Thursday afternoon. 

According to Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan, police received a call about a woman who had possibly thrown a child into the river near Rome Avenue and Aileen Street. The dive team responded immediately.

The body of Je’Hyrah Daniels was discovered 75 feet offshore around 4:30 p.m.  The child was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police arrested Shakayla Denson, 26, on a charge of first degree murder.

Witnesses say Denson waded into the Hillsborough River with her child. Roughly halfway across the river, she tossed Daniels and began wading out.

“I live in the building across and I was out on the balcony and I first looked to see if there was a boat, like perhaps this person’s boat had broken down,” said Vicki Walker.

Walker snapped a photo of a woman in the river.

She said she didn’t see a child, but thought something wasn’t right.

“They were fully clothed which was the other very odd thing to me. They were in the river, there was no boat, there was no other people around. They were by themselves in the river so I don’t know why I took a picture. Just randomly took a picture but it felt odd.”

Denson was also charged with aggravated child abuse and grand theft motor vehicle.

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