Crime Child Dead, Another Hospitalized After Woman Allegedly Threw Them Off a Bridge in Louisiana
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A child is dead and another has been hospitalized after a woman allegedly threw them off a bridge and into a lake, according to Louisiana authorities.
On Thursday around 10:53 a.m. local time, officers from the Shreveport Police Department received a report about what the 911 caller described as a child floating in Cross Lake, Sgt. Angie Willhite tells PEOPLE.
The department's marine patrol officers responded to scene and found one small child dead in the water, according to Willhite.
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Officers then began canvasing the lake and found another small child who was still alive, Willhite says. The second child was rushed to Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport in life-threatening condition.
Search and rescue crews spent another two hours searching for potentially a third child in the water, though authorities later found that child "safe in another location" Willhite says.
Willhite tells PEOPLE that a woman in her mid-thirties has been taken into custody in connection to the incident. The woman was brought in for questioning after police put out an alert for her vehicle, a gray Dodge Caravan with Texas tags.
Investigators believe the woman had crossed over the Cross Lake Bridge in her Dodge Caravan at some point on Thursday. "We believe she threw two children over the edge and into the water, and then fled the scene," Willhite says.
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Police have not released any other details about the children or the woman, including their exact ages.
The relationship between the children and the woman is unclear, though Willhite tells PEOPLE there is a "close enough association" that investigators do not believe the incident was a random crime.
"We don't believe we're dealing with trafficking," Willhite says. "We believe the offender has a close enough relationship to establish that this was not a random act of violence."
Those who have information about the incident are being asked to contact detectives at 318-673-6955 or Crime Stoppers at 318-673-7373.
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