Couple in Wis. child neglect case turn themselves in

2:45 PM, Sep 24, 2012   |    comments
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BURNETT COUNTY, Wis. -- A Wisconsin couple charged with neglect that resulted in the death of their 3-year-old daughter have turned themselves in to authorities.

The Burnett County Sheriff's Office says the couple turned themselves in to authorities around noon Sunday.

An arrest warrant had been issued Friday for Thomas Williams and Jenna Danish, but when Burnett County Sheriff deputies arrived at their home to arrest them Friday night no one answered the door.

The couple has been charged with felony child neglect resulting in the death of Reena Mae Williams, according to Wisconsin court records.

Three-year-old Reena died in August after she accidently drowned. 

Her body was found in a canal in August, just hours after a neighbor spotted the little girl walking in the street barefoot. That neighbor said that it was not the first time the girl had been seen wandering in the neighborhood.

The criminal complaint issued against Danish and Williams says that a witness told investigators he and Williams were smoking synthetic marijuana in the minutes before the little girl disappeared. When the couple's home was searched deputies found numerous items of drug paraphrenalia and a supply of synthetic drugs.

Another person told authorities that Danish admitted she was sleeping during the period that Reena wandered away.

Prosecutors maintain that there was a well established pattern of the 3-year-old wandering off without supervision. On the day she disappeared one witness described seeing Reena at the town ball field, some 1.5 miles from her home. Another saw her wandering down a street in town and brought her home, only to have Danish and Williams act like it was "no big deal." 

Shortly after she was returned home the little girl wandered off again. She was found drowned in the canal the next day, just 25 yards from the family home.  

Danish and Williams each face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

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