Police in Lauderhill, Florida, announced on Wednesday that they have a person of interest in the deaths of two young sisters who were found floating in a canal: Their mother, Tinessa Hogan.
“She was contacted by police and she is not in the community right now,” said Lauderhill Police Lieutenant Michael Bigwood.
Police say Hogan — who has been located, but not yet arrested — never reported the girls missing. They were last seen earlier this week.
They identified the sisters as 9-year-old Destiny and 7-year-old Daysha.
Neighbor Lawana Johnson discovered one of the bodies.
“It shocked me … I froze, then I started to cry,” she said.
The gruesome discovery happened around noon on Tuesday. Destiny’s body was found first, and her sister’s body was found about 500 feet away in the same canal nearly eight hours later. Witnesses said she was wearing flowered pajama pants.
“One of the neighbors noticed something floating in the water, and we went to look and it was a little girl. A little baby. Somebody’s child,” said neighbor Loanna Jones.
Officials say they are unsure when the bodies ended up in the water, but believe they’ve been there for some time. Authorities are awaiting the results of autopsies.
Bigwood said police are treating the case as a criminal investigation and are asking the public for any information. Neighbors are leaving items at a small memorial for the girls.