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Florida Girl Was Still Alive When Father Threw Her from Bridge

January 10, 2015  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Florida Girl Was Still Alive When Father Threw Her from Bridge

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A 5-year-old girl was alive when she was allegedly thrown off a Florida bridge by her father, cops said Friday.

An unhinged John Jonchuck Jr., 25, is in custody after he threw little Phoebe over the railing of the Dick Misener Bridge on Thursday morning, cops said. Phoebe’s body was found later that same day in Tampa Bay.

Cops say preliminary evidence suggests Phoebe was alive when she was thrown into the water, WFLA reported.

Jonchuck was charged with first-degree murder. When asked in court Thursday whether he wanted a lawyer, Jonchuck said, “I want to leave it in the hands of God,” according to the Miami Herald.

“I’m pretty sure God is not going to be representing you in this case,” the judge replied, according to the newspaper.

He had been acting strangely, also calling his lawyer “God” on Wednesday and asking her to translate a Bible in Swedish. His lawyer contacted the authorities to report his bizarre conduct, and cops did speak to Jonchuck and his daughter while he picked her up from a church day care Wednesday.

Phoebe’s grieving mother, Michelle Kerr, said she “never feared” for her daughter’s safety despite her ex’s unstable behavior and extensive arrest record.

“Why couldn’t he have done it to me?” mom Michelle Kerr told the Tampa Bay Times. “All I could think of was he loved her so much. Why? Why?”

Kerr told the newspaper that her six-year relationship with Jonchuck had been chaotic, but she always felt like Phoebe was safe with her father even though he was “not mentally stable.”

The report of the little girl’s death to the Department of Children & Families child abuse hotline was the sixth time the agency had received a call about the family in the past 30 months, the Miami Herald reported.

“I never feared for her safety,” Kerr told the Tampa Bay Times. “I knew from the times that I wasn’t allowed to see her that she was in the arms of somebody safe. … He’s not mentally stable, but he was stable enough to take care of a child for five years.”

When they first met, Kerr said Jonchuck was a “gay friend,” according to the Tampa Bay Times. He later told her he liked women as well, and they eventually became a couple.

In 2010, Jonchuck was accused of throwing Kerr to the ground during an argument, according to the Times. Jonchuck agreed to enter a domestic violence diversion program, records obtained by the Tampa Bay Times show.

In another incident, Kerr told cops that Jonchuck hit her and dragged her around the apartment by her hair, according to the Times.

Kerr also said her boyfriend was on medication for psychological problems.

“He was very, very bipolar,” she told the Times. “He was Jekyll and Hyde all the way.”

Jonchuck also accused Kerr of violent behavior, saying she had her own psychological problems and abused drugs and alcohol, according to the paper.

From the NY Daily News

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