LAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have released additional information in the case of the bodies of two girls found in a Lauderhill canal.
Police identified the girls as Destiny and Daysha Hogan. Investigators said the girls are sisters and were 9 and 7 years old.
Officers said the girls’ mother, Tinessa Hogan, is a person of interest in the case, and that they know where she is, but she is not currently under arrest.
Police said the girls and their mother were last seen together around 5 p.m. Monday.
The sight at the Lauderhill canal Tuesday afternoon was at first difficult for 911 caller Lawana Johnson to believe.
“I need you guys to come off of 56th in the Habitat area, to see if there’s a little girl body in the water,” Johnson said. “I can’t tell if it’s a mannequin head, or I mean, a mannequin body.”
But then the reality sets in.
When the dispatcher asked if there were weapons involved, Johnson sobbed, “No, ma’am, she’s just floating upside down. My boyfriend is coming… He’s probably going to see if this is our neighbor’s child.”
That little girl was 9-year-old Destiny Hogan. Her 7-year-old sister Daysha was found in the same canal eight hours later.
“It shocked me, I froze. Then I started to cry,” Johnson said.
“As the chief stated, we do have a person of interest at this time,” said Lauderhill Police Lt. Mike Bigwood. “However, we have not received an official ruling on cause or manner of death from the medical examiner’s office.”
Neighbors talked about what they’ve seen and heard.
“There was a lady down here; I saw a lady in the water,” said neighbor Cheryl Robinson.
“The rumor is, there was a lady in the canal that was trying to get the kids to get baptized and trying to, you know, lure them down to the lake,” said a neighbor.
“She was in the canal, that she was offering to baptize people in the neighborhood,” Bigwood said. “That is an angle we’re exploring.”
Detectives arrived back at the family home on the canal Wednesday afternoon to search the house.
They said the girls’ mother never reported them missing.
“And they used to be with their mom. Everywhere she goes, they’re with her,” said a neighbor.
“It’s just mind-boggling,” said another neighbor.
Detectives are now trying to figure out how two young sisters ended up in a canal, their bodies to be discovered by strangers.
“Oh, my God. I’ve never seen this before,” Johnson said.
According to neighbors, the mother may have suffered a medical illness, so it’s possible she could be Baker Acted, but police cannot confirm that.
If you have any information about the girls’ family and can shed light on the tragedy, you’re urged to call Lauderhill Police or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.
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