A 5-year-old girl is dead today in St. Petersburg, Florida, after her 25-year-old father reportedly threw her off a bridge just after midnight.
John Nicholas Jonchuck, Jr., allegedly tossed his daughter, Phoebe, from the Dick Misener Bridge near the Sunshine Skyway, reports ABC Action News. A police officer was returning home from work on the I-275 when he says he witnessed Jonchuck driving at 100 miles per hour in his Chrysler PT Cruiser.
The cop reportedly turned on his lights with the intention of pulling the driver over for speeding, but says Jonchuck did not stop his vehicle. Instead, he says he saw the man get out on the Dick Misener Bridge and throw his little girl over the railing.
Phoebe reportedly fell 62 feet into the cold Boca Ciega Bay.
The suspect then reportedly got back into his vehicle and continued driving south into Manatee County. Police reportedly stopped him about half an hour later while authorities searched for the girl’s body in the bay.
The Eckerd College Search & Rescue dive team reportedly found Phoebe. First responders unsuccessfully tried to revive her and she was transported to All Children’s Hospital, but she didn’t survive. Phoebe was pronounced dead at 2:44 a.m. at the hospital, reports the Sun Sentinel.
Jonchuck was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault of an officer, and fleeing and eluding. He also faces charges of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle on a law enforcement officer. He is currently being held at Pinellas County Jail.