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Friday, September 17, 2021


Mother Charged With Murder Throwing Her Four Year-old Daughter Into the Hillsborough River

Mother Charged With Murder After Throwing Her Four Year-old Daughter Into the Hillsborough River

Tampa Police have filed a murder charge against a mother that tossed her child into the Hillsborough River near N Rome Avenue and N Aileen Street.

Shakayla Denson, age 26 of 5502 N 43rd St. Apt 105, is facing charges of First Degree Felony Murder, Aggravated Child Abuse, and Grand Theft Auto.

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At approximately 4 p.m., Tampa Police received a report that a woman had thrown a child into the Hillsborough River near just north of the Columbus Drive bridge. The Tampa Police Department dive team went to the scene. At approximately 4:30 p.m. a dive team member discovered an unconscious child submerged about 75 feet off shore near N Rome Avenue and W Aileen Street. The child was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where 4 year-old Je’Hyrah Daniels, was pronounced deceased at 4:49 p.m.

Police quickly located the woman suspected of tossing the child in the water.  She was walking nearby and was taken into custody.

The investigation determined that the woman, identified as Shakayla Denson, had just stolen a car – a grey Nissan Altima – from Jordan Auto Repair at 5604 N 40th St.

She parked the car on Rome Avenue just north of Aileen Street.  Witnesses say she waded into the Hillsborough River with her child. Roughly halfway across the river, she tossed the child and began wading out.

911 audio of woman stealing the vehicle from repair shop

911 call from scene along the Hillsborough River

Tampa Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

On June 19th, 2018, HCSO Child Protection Investigation Division conducted an  inadequate supervision investigation into Shakayla Denson and her daughter.  The matter was  closed on July 31 due to no indicators of maltreatment, abuse or neglect. In  light of this incident, they conducted an additional review of the case and agreed with the original findings.

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