Chief: "More questions than answers" after mother drowned daughter in river

Police said a 4-year-old girl died after her mother threw her into a Florida river

A woman accused of drowning her screaming 4-year-old daughter in a Florida river had been cleared this week by sheriff's child abuse investigators. Witnesses say she waded into the Hillsborough River with her child and, roughly halfway across the river, she tossed the child and began wading out.

A member of the TPD dive team discovered the unconscious child underwater at about 4:30 p.m., according to police.

Rescue divers pulled the unconcious girl from the water almost half an hour later and she was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The event happened Thursday afternoon to the horror of witnesses who watched the woman wading in the waters of the Hillsborough River and called authorities.

Police say they've located the woman and taken her into custody.

CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP reports that Denson is accused of stealing a car from an auto fix shop, then parking the vehicle near Hillsborough River. Then she walked into the murky river at about 4 p.m. and left her daughter, Je'Hyrah Daniels, in the water, police said.

"Eventually, we just saw the scuba divers out there pulling up with a body", said resident Romano Muniz. She was walking not far from the scene.

Vicki Walker, who says she noticed Denson in the water, told The Tampa Bay Times the woman started to cry once she made it to shore.

"Our hearts hurt for the loss of Je'Hyrah Daniels".

According to her arrest affidavit, Denson stole a 2007 Nissan Altima from a St. Petersburg vehicle lot on 40th Street North just after 3 p.m. She said that by the time she realized what was going on, it was too late.

In 2015, police say a man threw his 5-year-old daughter to her death off the Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg.

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