Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Despite their daughter’s death was ruled an accidental drowning, the parents of a little girl in Western Wisconsin are facing criminal charges.
The parents of Reena Williams will be in St. Croix County Court on Wednesday. Jenna Danish and Thomas Williams are facing felony neglect charges in Reena’s death.
According to a complaint filed in the case, neighbors told authorities 3-year-old Reena routinely wandered away from home. The day before her body was found, a neighbor told police they found the little girl a half mile away from home.
When she was brought back to her parents, the criminal complaint says her parents acted if it were ‘no big deal’. Neighbors also told police, the little girl often looked dirty and unhealthy.
Reena’s body was found in a canal in August, just yards away from the family’s home in Danbury, Wis.
Last week, police issued an arrest warrant for her parents, 33-year-old Danish and 44-year-old Thomas Williams. They turned themselves into police on Sunday.
When officers searched their home, they found both marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside. A witness told police the girl’s father had been smoking synthetic marijuana minutes before his daughter disappeared, and another witness said the girl’s mother had admitted she was sleeping at the time.
Police cited in the criminal complaint, the view from the home of the canal where Reena’s body was found, was blocked by a sheet covering the window. Officers wrote had it not been there, her parents would have a clear view of the canal.
Reena’s parents were released from jail on a bond Monday. Danish and Thomas Williams are due in court at 2 p.m. Wednesday. If convicted, the couple could each face up to 25 years in prison.