A 5-year-old girl died early this morning after her father allegedly tossed her over the side of a bridge in St. Petersburg, Florida, police said.
The alleged incident occurred early today on the approach to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which connects St. Petersburg to Terry Ceia over Tampa Bay in the western part of the state.
A police officer, chasing a speeding driver they later identified as John Nicholas Jonchuck Jr., saw the person stop his car and allegedly throw the child from the bridge before driving away, St. Petersburg Police said. They stopped and apprehended Jonchuck about 30 minutes later.
Rescue crews found the girl, Phoebe, but were unable to resuscitate her, police said.
St. Petersburg Police Department spokesman Yolanda Fernandez said police are stunned by the incident.
"We have no idea why anybody would do something like this as to throw a child over a railing of a bridge into the water, let alone on a night like this and the temperatures and conditions that we have today," she told ABC affiliate WFTS.