Police have reportedly identified a mother in Florida as a person of interest after her two daughters, ages 7 and 9, were found dead in a Broward County canal this week.
The mother was taken into custody for further questioning on Wednesday, but no charges have been filed, the Associated Press reported. Authorities are said to be investigating claims that the mother, 36-year-old Tinessa Hogan, had been offering to "baptize" people in the canal just one day before the bodies were discovered.
On Tuesday, the bodies of 9-year-old Destiny Hogan and 7-year-old Daysha Hogan were found in a canal in Lauderhill, a city nearby Fort Lauderdale, around eight hours apart.
The medical examiner's office has not yet determined a cause of death, but police are treating the incident as a possible homicide until further notice.
"At this point, I would classify it as two suspicious deaths. We are definitely treating it as if it was a criminal investigation," police Lt. Mike Bigwood told reporters during a news conference Wednesday, according to NBC News.
He added that detectives are exploring every possible lead and have been on the job nonstop since Tuesday. The girls, who lived with their mother, were last seen in the area on Monday. Their father is reportedly estranged from the family.
Destiny's body was found first on Tuesday at around noon. Then eight hours later at approximately 8:30 p.m., Daysha was discovered only 500 feet away.
A neighbor, Lawana Johnson, who was there when one of the bodies was discovered, recalled the horrifying moment to CBS News.
"It shocked me ... I froze, then I started to cry," she said. "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."
Another neighbor said, "It's crazy and it's like nobody knows what's going on ... nobody coming forward ... no missing reports, like what's going on, somebody has to know something."
Others have come by the site where the girls were found to leave gifts and flowers to honor their lives.
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