According to the Lawrence Police Department, a 26-year-old Scharron Renea Dingledine from Columbia, who was saved from a submerged car in the Kansas River was arrested on Saturday on charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the incident that led to the death of her 5-year-old daughter and injured her 1-year-old son.
Investigators are still trying to determine why she drove into the Kansas River on Friday afternoon.
Police said Friday night that “it would be premature to speculate whether or not this was an intentional act,” according to the report.
The region of investigation is near the Bowersock hydropower plant near 6th and Massachusetts in Lawrence. Earlier on Saturday, law enforcement officials said that it is irregular for anyone – outside of people going to the power plant – to be in the area. Yet, that’s where a mother and her two children went into the water.
While Dingledine is in custody, and investigators believe everyone and the vehicle are out of the river, a long investigation lies ahead.
“We’re focusing on the treatment of the individuals involved at the hospital. We’re going to do interviews with the adult female that was taken to the hospital. We’re going to try to understand better what occurred and why, and then put together a timeline of this particular incident,” Lawrence Police Captain Trent McKinley said.
“We are not calling the individual a ‘murderer,’” Capt. Trent McKinley said when asked for details. “We are merely relating the charges she has been arrested on.”
Dingledine is being held without bail at the Douglas County Jail without bond.
The Lawrence Police Department asks that anyone who saw or has any tips on what led to the incident to get in touch with them. CrimeStoppers in Lawrence is available at (785) 843-8477.