Photo from Burnett County sheriff's office
DANBURY, Wis. - Charged with neglect that resulted in their daughter's death, an arrest warrant has been issued for Thomas Williams and Jenna Danish.
Burnett County Sheriff deputies arrived at their home to arrest them shortly after six Friday night but no one answered the door.
Three-year-old Reena Williams died in August after she accidently drowned in a canal not far from her home.
The deputies were having trouble getting the arrest warrant signed Friday despite the charges being filed. The only judge in the county who could sign off on the arrest was outside of the area, according to officials.
The couple's friend, Andrew Jorgensen was looking for the parents Friday evening, as well. He told KARE 11 he didn't believe the parents should be charged with neglect.
"Let me tell you, these guys are not going easy on it. They've taken it hard, hard," he said.
It was more than a month ago when dozens of community members showed up to look for the girl after news broke of her disappearance.
But after about a day of searching, a dive team found her body about 25 yards from her house.
"This is neglect, this is horrible," said Diana Naylor shortly after the news of her death in August.
Naylor saw Williams wandering alone barefoot with a dog the day she disappeared.
So did other neighbors who almost immediately blamed the parents for the girl's death. Danish spoke to KARE 11 during the search.
"She don't go in the woods by herself. She don't go nowhere by herself. She knows better," said Danish about her daughter.
But according to the criminal complaint, that's not entirely true. Neighbors saw the 3-year-old wandering barefoot the day she fell in the river about a half mile from her house.
A neighbor brought her back home only for her to wander off again.
The complaint also alleges, the girl dove in to the canal in April after she dropped her fishing pole. Her father had to jump in to grab her.
"You have a beautiful young child who had a whole life a head of them, but that life has been cut short," said Burnett County Sheriff Dean Roland.
Roland said as of 4 p.m. Friday afternoon, deputies were still trying to find the county's only judge to sign off on an arrest warrant despite the fact the charges had already been field.
"It's just the judge that is assigned to our county is out of our county working a homicide case at this time," said Roland.
Investigators allege the girl's father was smoking synthetic marijuana minutes before she went missing in August and her mother was asleep.
During the investigation, deputies discovered a sheet over windows of the home that faced the canal. Detectives noted that if the sheet was pulled down, the canal was easily visible.
Investigators also found a dog that was "severely neglected" in the home with open sores on its legs and covered in fleas, among other issues.
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