Florida Girl, 5, Dies after Being Tossed over Tampa Bay Bridge By Father

( [email protected] ) Jan 08, 2015 05:13 PM EST


Florida Domestic Violence
(Right) John Jonchuck Jr., 25, killed his 5-year-old daughter Phoebe (left) by throwing her over the side of a bridge early on Thursday, police in St. Petersburg said. Photo: Reuters/St Petersburg Police Department/Handout

In a case highlighting the extremes of domestic abuse and violence, authorities found the dead body of five-year-old girl Phoebe Jonchuck, accusing her father, John Jonchuck Jr., 25, of tossing her off a bridge in St. Petersburg, Fla.  


According to Tamara Lush of the Associated Press, Johnchuck had been acting strangely before allegedly tossing his daughter off a bridge early Thursday. Police documents indicated that he called his attorney, Geneveive Torres, "God" and asked her to translate a Bible in Swedish.

"She was smiling and appeared healthy, properly clothed and happy," police documents said about Phoebe.

According to the Associated Press, the documents indicated that Jonchuck didn't want to harm himself or anyone else. However, Torres did report the odd statements to police because she was worried about the welfare of Jonchuck and Phoebe.

A little more than 12 hours later after the report, police said Jonchuck threw his daughter over a bridge. According to NBC News, St. Petersburg Police Chief Tony Holloway said that Jonchuck sat in his car at the top of the Dick Misener Bridge after speeding past by a police officer headed home.

"The suspect started talking, but the officer didn't understand what he was saying," Holloway said. "I don't even know what was going through this guy's mind."

Holloway added that the officer drew his weapon after the man got out of his car. According to NBC News, Jonchuck refused to talk to police about the incident after being arrested.

The girl's mother, 29-year-old Michelle Kerr, who has two other children according to ABC Action News, said that she last saw Phoebe on Christmas Eve. She told ABC Action News that she "forgives" the girl's father.

"I would do anything just to have her for one more day," Kerr said while crying. "Phoebe's spirit, she was so lovable."

The Associated Press reported that Kerr and Jonchuck were together for six "tumultuous" years. Both had arrest records, and police have been called to settle domestic violence-related complaints from them.

"I always saw him as a good dad," Kerr said about Jonchuck, who had custody of Phoebe. "She would always say, 'I love you daddy.' She loved her dad."

ABC Action News reported that Kerr allowed Phoebe to live with her father due to the fact she suffered from multi-sclerosis, making it difficult for Kerr to take care of the little girl.

"Never did I think he'd do this," Kerr said.

NBC News reported that Jonchuck had previously been arrested for battery against Kerr. He also wanted a domestic violence injunction against her, but police revealed that request was denied last month.

The Associated Press reported that Jonchuck is in a Florida jail facing a first-degree murder charge.

Tags : Florida, Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, domestic violence, domestic abuse, Forgiveness, John Jonchuck, Phoebe Jonchuck, Dick Misener Bridge