Stepmother facing charges after 5-year-old found dead in river

VINCENNES, IN – An Indiana woman faces charges of neglect following the tragic death of her 5-year-old stepdaughter, whose body was discovered in the Wabash River, officials said.

Deonna Hollingsworth, 26, was charged after Knox County authorities received a distressing 911 call around 2:40 p.m. Thursday. The caller reported that a young girl had gone missing while playing in the river at Kimmel Park in Vincennes, Indiana.

Emergency responders from multiple agencies, including boat, sonar, and dive teams, swiftly converged on the scene to search for the missing child. Divers eventually located the girl’s body around 7:15 p.m. near the park’s boat ramp.

The child had been under the care of her stepmother, Hollingsworth, at the time she disappeared into the river. According to Joe Haywood, an officer with the Department of Natural Resources, there was sufficient evidence to suggest that the child had been placed in a perilous situation while in Hollingsworth’s care.

The investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident is ongoing as authorities seek to determine the full extent of the events that led to the child’s untimely death.