Florida mom person of interest in deaths of 2 daughters found in canal

LAUDERHILL, Florida — A Florida woman is a person of interest after police found the bodies of her two daughters nine hours apart in a canal, authorities said Wednesday.

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Police on Wednesday identified the two girls as Destiny Hogan, 9, and Daysha Hogan, 7, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Their mother, Tinessa Hogan, 36, of Lauderhill, is a person of interest in the case, Lauderhill Lt. Mike Bigwood confirmed to the Miami Herald.

Destiny Hogan’s body was found floating face-down in the L-shaped canal on Tuesday, WSVN reported.

“I got near it, and I said, ‘It’s a little girl,’” Lawana Johnson, who found the body, told the television station. “No shoes, just a blouse and some shorts. It shocked me, I froze. Then I started to cry.”

Daysha Hogan’s body was found nine hours later, the Herald reported.

The second child’s body was spotted by a man, who was not identified. He told WFOR he was leaving a friend’s house when he saw something in the water.

“I went over there, there was a body in the lake. A little girl. I have never seen anything like that before in my life,” the man told the television station. “I’ve got two little girls and this is a tragedy. My heart goes out to the families.”

The two locations are about a seven-minute walk apart, the Sun-Sentinel reported. One girl was found on the side of the canal that runs north and south, and the other girl was found on the side that runs east to west.,

Before the bodies were found, Hogan was seen by neighbors swimming in the canal with a bible, asking people if they would like to be baptized, Bigwood told reporters.

Tinessa Hogan was last seen with her daughters at about 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, WPLG reported. She has not been questioned, arrested or charged, the television station reported.

Police confirmed to the Sun-Sentinel that Hogan was the same woman who was detained by officers and driven away in an ambulance Tuesday about four hours after Destiny Hogan was found in the canal.

Police did not say where Tinessa Hogan was on Wednesday, although they conceded she was “not out in the community,” the newspaper reported. They did not confirm whether she was being held under Florida’s Baker Act, which allows authorities to commit a person to a mental health hospital for up to three days.

Bigwood said the girls’ father, Darren Hogan, 42, had been estranged from the family for years, WPLG reported. He added that relatives live outside of Broward County.

“This is gone from a missing persons case to a homicide investigation,” Lauderhill Police Lt. Mike Santiago told reporters. “Detectives are actively working this case and continuing to scan the area.”