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5-year-old dead after kidnapping, high-speed chase in Florida, sheriff's office says

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Posted at 7:46 AM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 08:17:03-04

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said a 5-year-old girl is dead after a kidnapping and high-speed chase on Thursday night.

Authorities said they received calls of a kidnapping in progress around 7:30 or 8 p.m. on the north side of the city. Authorities said the suspect, a woman, and the child are known to each other but their exact relationship has not been revealed.

As officers responded, the sheriff's office said one officer saw the suspect's vehicle and attempted to stop it. The driver fled and led authorities on a 30-mile chase on I-95, the sheriff's office said.

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Officer Christian Hancock said speeds reached up to 90 miles an hour during the chase.

Hancock said as the suspect tried to exit the interstate she drove off a ramp and into a pond.

Officers who were behind her got out of their vehicles and went into the pond. Hancock said the suspect was taken into custody but officers were unable to locate the 5-year-old girl.

The fire department and a dive team responded, Hancock said, and they found the child dead at the bottom of the pond.

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Hancock said the suspect, whose identity has not been released at this time, will face several charges including traffic homicide. He added that the suspect had a knife at the time of the kidnapping.

Hancock said he was unaware of any other crashes or injuries that occurred during the pursuit. One officer was treated for injuries related to the search in the pond, Hancock said.