Danbury Couple Charged In Daughter's Death

By KBJR News 1

September 25, 2012 Updated Sep 25, 2012 at 10:03 AM CDT

A Wisconsin couple charged in connection with the drowning of their three–year–old daughter made their first court appearance Monday.

The parents face neglect charges following the August tragedy.

More than a month after their three year old daughter was found dead, in the Yellow river just 25 yards from their home, the parents of Renna Mae WIlliams appeared in a Burnett County Court on neglect charges.

Thomas Williams and Jenna Danish were charged with felony child neglect, resulting in the death of their daughter.

According to the criminal complaint, a witness told investigators the couple was smoking synthetic marijuana prior to the disappearance of the girl.

"We had today then, was a bail hearing to set bond," William Norine, the Burnett County District Attorney said.

On Friday, a judge issued a warrant for the arrest of the toddler's parents.

They voluntarily turned themselves in on Sunday.

"The judge, though, after reviewing their history, or lack thereof in terms of appearing for court, did not deem them a flight risk, so he ordered them a $25 thousand signature bond," Norine said.

A signature bond is a promise the defendant makes to ensure they attend their next hearing on the court date.

Meanwhile the small community of Danbury that banded together to search for the little girl last August, reacted to the news of the charges.

"This just didn't have to happen," Brittany Wilcox, a Danbury resident said.

Court documents show that on the day Williams went missing, a neighbor saw the girl wandering away from home and brought her back to the family's house. Neighbors say it was a common occurrence.

"My children have run off—it happens, it happens—but not that many times," Wilcox said.

If convicted, they may each serve up to 25 years in prison.

According to the District Attorney this is the most serious charge that can be filed against the parents.

Williams and Danish have their initial appearance in court on Wednesday, September 26th.

Justin Reis, NNC. jreis@northlandsnewscenter.com