The Florida mother accused of throwing her 4-year-old daughter with special needs into the Hillsborough River allegedly did so while singing the nursery rhyme “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring.”
WTVT reported that a judge denied bond for Shakayla Denson, 26, the mother charged in the August 2 slaying of Je’Hyrah Daniels. Witnesses called police after reportedly seeing Denson carrying Daniels—who had autism and was non-verbal—into the river and leaving her for dead.
One woman testified seeing the girl struggle to stay afloat before only seeing her mother emerge from the waters.
“I don’t know if she threw her or she left her I don’t know I can’t say but after that, she didn’t have the child,” the woman said.
Tampa police detective Matthew Kirkpatrick testified that witnesses said they saw Daniels and Denson in a car stolen from an auto shop, and that Denson was spotted yelling expletives into a phone. Kirkpatrick said the stolen vehicle was located at the crime scene.
According to the news station, the detective went on to reveal that witnesses heard the mother singing, “It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring.”
Kirkpatrick testified, “[Denson said] that her family was out to get her. She also stated that the maintenance man at her apartment complex was maybe in her apartment and put a spell on her apartment.”
Rescuers recovered Daniels’ body about 30 minutes after witnesses called police. The medical examiner determined the 4-year-old died from drowning and ruled it a homicide, WFTS reported.
Denson is charged with first-degree murder and grand theft auto. Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office hasn’t decided whether she’ll face the death penalty.
[Featured Image: Je’Hyrah Daniels/GoFundMe; Shakayla Denson/Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]