Child dies following chase of kidnapping suspect that ends in accident in pond, police say

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JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – A 5-year-old child died Thursday evening during the pursuit of a kidnapping suspect after the pursued vehicle entered a holding pond on I-95 near the State Road 9B exit, according to the office of the sheriff of Jacksonville.

Officer Christian Hancock, of the sheriff’s office, said police were made aware of a reported kidnapping in progress just after 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the city’s north end.

As officers were en route to the call, Hancock said, an officer approached the suspect vehicle. He noted that the suspect and the 5-year-old girl knew each other.

“As the officer turned to approach the vehicle from behind, the suspect sped up, clearly seeing the officer, and a chase began at this time as we responded to an abduction in progress with an armed suspect,” Hancock said.

Hancock said the chase lasted from Dunn Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard, went up I-95 south, crossed Jacksonville on the Fuller Warren Bridge and ended up near the exit for 9B — about 30 miles.

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A News4JAX employee was traveling south on I-95 when his dash cam captured a vehicle driving down the shoulder at high speed. Several police cars appeared to be chasing the SUV.

The video was taken near the Old St. Augustine Road exit, just a few miles from the crash site.

“The driver was able to continue until we got to this point, at which point she attempted to exit 9B,” Hancock said, that is, when the driver left the ramp and entered the ‘pond.

According to Hancock, multiple officers exited their vehicles and went into the water, where the suspect was apprehended. He said the child was not immediately located. Firefighters responded to help locate the child.

“The child unfortunately lay at the bottom of the pond, deceased,” Hancock said.

He added: “At that time the suspect will be arrested on charges arising from this incident, at least to include a traffic homicide and a few others.”

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Hancock said additional charges will likely be pending.

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