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Florida mom charged with manslaughter in 5-year-old’s death

April 15, 2022 GMT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A 32-year-old woman has been charged with aggravated manslaughter in the death of her 5-year-old daughter during a high-speed chase, officials said.

The Fourth District State Attorney’s Office on Thursday filed formal charges against the woman, who police said kidnapped the child late last month. When a police officer spotted her vehicle at a red light, she sped away and led law enforcement on a high-speed chase.

Her vehicle crashed into a retention pond along Interstate 95. The child’s body was found by divers outside of the vehicle at the bottom of the pond. The woman got out of the vehicle, but officials said she made no attempt to rescue the child.

She was initially charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, firefighter or EMT, fleeing or trying to elude a law enforcement officer and vehicular homicide. In addition to manslaughter, she’s also now charged with battery on an emergency medical care provider, records show.

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Court officials told news outlets the woman wasn’t present at her first appearance due to ‘disruptive’ behavior. An arraignment is scheduled for April 21. She remains in jail on a $2.2 million bond.

According to WJXT, the child lived with her aunt and uncle after the Florida Department of Children and Families determined her mother was not fit to care for her.