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No Wrongdoing Found Before Tampa Girl’s Death

Hillsborough County Jail
Shakayla Denson was arrested in August and charged with the murder of her 4-year-old daughter.

Florida's child welfare department says a previous investigation of a mother charged with drowning her 4-year-old autistic daughter in a river was handled correctly.

The Tampa Bay Times reported Saturday the Florida Department of Children and Families concluded the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office properly left Je'Hyrah Daniels with her 26-year-old mother, Shakayla Denson. The sheriff contracts with DCF to handle child welfare issues in the county.

That investigation was launched in June after the girl was found wandering in a park. It found Denson was overwhelmed, but neighbors and family expressed no concerns about the girl's treatment. The investigation concluded July 30.

Two days later, Denson allegedly carried her daughter into the Hillsborough River and let go. Currents swept Je'Hyrah away and she drowned.

Denson is charged with murder.

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