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. Police say she drove to the bridge on Thursday but right now they have more questions than answers about this crime.
After ditching the Nissan Altima, which she allegedly stole from an auto shop, Denson is accused of wading halfway across the body of water, before jettisoning her daughter.
Investigators later determined that Denson had stolen a vehicle just prior to when she was spotted by witnesses wading into the river. "We're still digging into Denson and what her state of mind is", said Dugan. She was found walking near the river.
The child was pulled from the water and died at the hospital. Benson told investigators her daughter was in elementary school and she was trying to get her into therapy and enrollment in an autism center.
She has been taken to jail and held without bond, charged with first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and grand theft auto charges.
"The whole thing is just unbelievable", said Dugan. Two witnesses said the child was "forcefully pushed" into the backseat. She was later identified as 26-year-old Shakayla Denson. They were by themselves in the river so I don't know why I took a picture.
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Police say the girl was approximately 4 years old.
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