Parents of drowning victim turn themselves in - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Parents of drowning victim turn themselves in

Burnett County (WQOW) - The Burnett County Sheriff's Department says the parents of Reena Williams, who drowned last month, have turned themselves in. Jenna Danish and Thomas Jay Williams turned themselves around noon Sunday.

Prosecutors filed charges against the two on Friday. They're charged with felony child neglect resulting in death.

Reena's body was found in a canal about 25 yards away from her home outside of Danbury.

The complaint alleges drug use, and a pattern of neglecting the girl.

Investigators say Reena wandered away from home at least 6 times this year, and several times ended up a mile and a half away from her home.  

Just 2 hours before a massive search was launched for the toddler, a woman spotted her wandering in Danbury.  The woman says she took Reena home, but no one came to the door.  Thomas Williams eventually walked into the yard. The woman says the father seemed un-concerned that the child had been found 12-blocks away. She also said he seemed incoherent. Later that day, when the girl disappeared again, the same woman joined the search for her. She says she came across both parents, and neither was looking for the child.  Another witness told investigators he had smoked synthetic marijuana with Williams minutes before Reena went missing. And deputies say a search of their home turned up marijuana, synthetic marijuana, and a dozen devices commonly used to smoke it.

Police say the girl's mother also admitted to another person that she was sleeping when Reena disappeared. Investigators also say the family's home was surrounded by water and there were no fences to protect the toddler. 

They also say house windows were covered with bed sheets, preventing a view of the canal where her body was found.

The charges carry a maximum possible penalty of 25-years in prison. Williams and Danish are due in court next month.

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