Mother arrested in deaths of daughters found in canal

FORT LAUDERDALE – A Lauderhill woman described by neighbors as a religious zealot, who was spotted offering to baptize people in a Lauderhill canal a day before the bodies of her two daughters were discovered in it, has been arrested on first degree murder charges.

Tinessa Hogan, 36, was arrested by Lauderhill police last week.

Hours after her 9-year-old daughter Destiny was found in the L-shaped canal behind the Habitat II Condominiums in the 5900 block of Northwest 21st Street on June 24, Hogan was taken from the scene under the state’s Baker Act.

When Lauderhill police first arrived, they found a child floating face down in the water. She was wearing a gray shirt and blue jean shorts.

When police pulled her out and placed her along the grassy bank of the canal, they discovered the child had several small scratches around her mouth as well as a small laceration near the left side of her lip, according to a police report released to the South Florida Sun Sentinel later Tuesday afternoon.

Police in the report say they canvassed the area looking for anyone who may be missing a child. They came up empty, so the little girl was given a Jane Doe identifier.

Hours later, police found Hogan near the canal. She was in some form of mental distress and was taken away by ambulance under the state system that allows people in the throes of a mental health crisis, who are thought to be a threat to themselves or others, to be held in a psychiatric facility for a few days.

Police told the South Florida Sun Sentinel they eventually learned the woman was Hogan and that she had two children.

At the time, Hogan’s identity was unknown as was the identity of the child in the canal.

Hours later at 8:45 p.m. the body of Hogan’s other child, Daysha, was found around the bend in the canal.

Neighbors said not long before the girls’ bodies were found, that a woman believed to be Hogan was seen carrying a sign through the neighborhood that read, “Death is the only way.”

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