LAUDERHILL, Fla. – On Wednesday afternoon, Lt. Mike Bigwood announced the two girls who were found dead on Tuesday in a Lauderhill canal were sisters 9-year-old Destiny and 7-year-old Daysha.
Bigwood said the girls’ mother is Tinessa Hogan, 36, and she was last seen with the girls about 5 p.m. on Monday. The girls’ mother was a person of interest, hasn’t been questioned, arrested, or charged, Bigwood said.
Police said the girls were never reported missing by their mother, or any other relatives.
“They are from the specific area where they were located,” Bigwood said about where the girls and the mother lived together.
Detectives have classified the case as “two suspicious deaths.” Bigwood said the girls’ father, Darren Hogan, 42, had been estranged from the family for years. He also said relatives live outside of Broward County.
“Please if you know the family, if you know the children, if you are familiar with the relationship, if you are familiar with any churches or organizations that the family may be a part of, please call us,” Bigwood said. “We desperately need to know what these relationships are.”
Bigwood said detectives are aware of neighbors’ reports that there was a woman swimming in the canal who was holding a Bible and asking people if they wanted to be baptized. Lauderhill Police Chief Constance Stanley said the community is not in danger.
Destiny was wearing a gray shirt with a “Dream” sign in colorful letters and shorts when officers recovered her body at 12:10 p.m. on Tuesday from a canal near the intersection of Northwest 21st Street and 56th Avenue.
Daysha was wearing a tan T-shirt and pajama bottoms with flowers when police divers recovered her body about 8:34 p.m., on Tuesday about half a mile away from the same canal.
Derika Brown, Shakima Birch and Michelle Golden were among the people who visited the canal on Wednesday. Brown dropped off two balloons. Birch and Golden, who both live nearby, were there to pray for the girls.
“The way how the little girl looked yesterday with all the scratches on her and ... her fists bawled up,” Birch said. “It just made me cry and I’m like, ‘Was she trying to grab onto something?’ or ‘Was she fighting for her life?’”
On Wednesday, authorities released 911 calls connected to the incident.
Detectives were in the neighborhood in the morning asking neighbors for clues. The Medical Examiner’s Office had yet to release a cause of death on Wednesday afternoon.
Bigwood was asking anyone with information about the girls’ family dynamics to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.