Christian Hancock of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said during a press briefing that the girl and the suspect are known to each other, but the exact nature of their relationship is unknown.
Hancock said police got word of a reported kidnapping involving a suspect armed with a knife at about 8:00 p.m. on Thursday. A patrol officer later spotted the vehicle and approached for a check-up, at which time the driver fled and a pursuit began.
“As the officer turned to approach the vehicle from behind, the suspect sped off, obviously seeing the officer, and a pursuit began at that point as we were responding to a kidnapping in progress with an armed suspect,” Hancock said.
The chase lasted for approximately 25 to 30 miles, proceeding through Jacksonville over the Fuller Warren Bridge and ended near the exit of Interstate 95 at Florida’s 9B.
The driver hit speeds over 90 mph during the chase, police said.
“She (the suspect) attempted to exit 9B … and ended up driving straight off, off this ramp, into a pond,” Hancock said. “Numerous officers got out of their vehicles … and went into the water, the suspect was apprehended in the water, unfortunately, the child was not located at the time.”
After the suspect was taken into custody, a diver team and fire department officials located the child at the bottom of the pond.
“The child was, unfortunately, located at the bottom of the pond, deceased,” Hancock said.
The suspect is facing charges stemming from the incident that will at least include traffic homicide and several others, he added.
No names have been released at this time as the investigation continues.