It’s a tragic tale out of Florida. Early Thursday morning, a 5-year-old girl was found dead after being thrown off a Tampa Bay bridge by her own father.
According to police, the incident took place after midnight, when a St. Petersburg police officer saw a PT Cruiser driving past him at nearly 100 miles per hour. At some point during the chase, the driver of the car, identified as 25-year-old John Jonchuck Jr., pulled over, tossed a child, identified as Phoebe Jonchuck, over the Dick Misener Bridge and drove off.
Attempts to save the 5-year-old’s life were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead less than two hours later. Jonchuck was taken into custody by police.
St. Petersburg police have confirmed that Jonchuck has been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated fleeing and eluding, and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle on a law enforcement officer.
When a judge denied bond on the murder charge, Jonchuck replied that he didn’t want an attorney and would leave his fate “in the hands of God.”
According to reports, Jonchuck was previously arrested on two separate domestic violence charges against Phoebe’s mother, he was also arrested for a battery charge against his own mother. In addition Child Protective Services have been called on the Jonachucks three times.
Hillsborough County deputies reportedly received a 911 call about Jonachuck the day before the tragic incident..
Jonachuck’s lawyer, Genevieve Torres, placed the emergency call on Wednesday, saying that Jonchuck came to her office and claimed she was God and the Creator and asked her to read the Bible in Swedish.
Torres told emergency dispatchers:
“He’s nuts. He’s out of his mind, and he has a minor child with him, [and is] driving to a church now. I should have kept the child [here]…I was supposed to file his paperwork for a case. And he’s like, ‘Well, don’t file the paperwork. It’s not going to matter any more.'”
Police found Jonchuck at his church,where he was given a mental evaluation and determined not to be threat. Officers let him go and he walked out of church with Phoebe. Only hours later, she was dead.
— St. Pete Police (@StPetePD) January 8, 2015