In August, a Florida mother dragged her four-year-old daughter into a river and let her go to drown. Shakayla Denson was charged on August 8th in the death of her daughter Je’Hyrah. During the original investigation, the media reported about a previous Department of Children and Families investigation between Denson and Hillsborough County. Due to the severity of Denson’s crime, Florida Department of Children and Families investigated the recent complaint against Denson. Today State Welfare officials said their last report on Denson did not indicate the child was in any danger.
In a report by 10NewsWTSP, a copy of the report contained details of the initial report between the county and Denson. According to the findings, the state concluded that Denson was not a risk to her daughter.
The original welfare case against Denson occurred in June 2018. The case related to a complaint made regarding Denson properly Je’Hyrah. A concerned citizen said that Je’Hyrah left her great-grandmother’s home and walked to a park six minutes from home.
When the incident initially occurred with Je’Hyrah, no one reported her missing. According to the review, Denson and her grandmother located Je’Hyrah shortly after she fled.
During the original investigation, social workers interviewed Denson about the event. She stated her daughter had never fled before this time. However, she did have an alarm system set up in her apartment to ensure her daughter remained inside.
The report goes on to indicate that Denson spoke fondly of her daughter. Caseworkers noted Denson appeared to understand her daughter’s behaviors and how to handle them best. Je’Hyrah had been diagnosed with autism and was non-verbal.
Caseworkers interviewed neighbors and extended family about Denson’s ability to parent. None of the people interviewed by the county expressed any doubt about Denson’s parenting skills.
Additionally, the report noted that Denson took proactive steps to enroll her daughter in programs for children with autism. Je’Hryah received services through the state and had a grant. Denson also got Je’Hyrah a safety bracelet in the event she wandered off again.
In the summary of the review, the state noted that Denson never had any reports of violence directed at her daughter. Based on their findings, the state determined there was no way for them to know Denson would harm Je’Hyrah in the future.
The state concluded with a statement that reads:
“In tragic events such as this, the human condition needs to seek a reasonable explanation for an individual’s behavior to make sense of a senseless act. Based on the information that was available in the previous investigation, a correlation cannot be made between the circumstances of the prior report and the events leading up to Je’Hyrah’s death.”
DCF report for Je’hyrah… by on Scribd
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