Dad Charged With Throwing 5-Year-Old Daughter Off Bridge & Killing Her

A shocking story out of Florida this morning: a 5-year-old girl was reportedly thrown off of a bridge by her own father, and a police officer says he witnessed the entire incident. John Nicholas Jonchuck, Jr., 25, has been charged with first-degree murder and other offenses after authorities say he tossed his little girl, Phoebe, off of the Dick Misener Bridge in St. Petersburg shortly after midnight on Thursday.


An unidentified police officer says he was driving southbound on the I-275 when he noticed a Chrysler PT Cruiser speeding at 100 miles per hour. He turned his lights on and tried to stop the vehicle, but before he could, he reportedly witnessed the most horrific tragedy.

A driver, whom he says was Jonchuck, allegedly stopped his vehicle on the bridge, which is located near the Sunshine Skyway, and proceeded to throw the little girl off the railing. She reportedly fell an astounding 62 feet into the frigid Tampa Bay.

Another crazy aspect to this story is that police say Jonchuck calmly opened the passenger door to retrieve his daughter and throw her off of the bridge, then drove off from the crime scene at a normal speed. You have to wonder what in the hell what was going through this man's mind at the time. How could he do this to his own flesh and blood?

After an extensive search, Eckerd College Search & Rescue team divers reportedly found Phoebe's body in the bay. Paramedics tried to revive her, but the little girl died at All Children's Hospital a few hours later.

Jonchuck, meanwhile, was apprehended in Manatee County about 30 minutes after the incident. We don't have information about this man's motive and only know that he had custody of his daughter and that they lived in Tampa with his parents.

In addition to first-degree murder charges, Jonchuck has been charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle on a police officer.

Our hearts go out to this innocent child and to all of the family who are mourning her loss today.

Why do you think this father would allegedly throw his daughter off of a bridge?


Image via Pinellas County Jail

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