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Forum Communications, Published September 24 2012

Parents of Wis. 3-year-old who drowned face charges

DANBURY, Wis. - Thomas Jay Williams, 42, and Jenna Elizabeth Danish, 33, of Danbury, had a habit of allowing their 3-year-old daughter, Reena, to wander away — as she did on the day she drowned, according to a criminal complaint filed against them in Burnett County Circuit Court.

Reena’s disappearance Aug. 14 sparked a massive search. Her body was found in a canal 25 yards from the family’s home the next day.

Williams and Danish have each been charged with a single count of child neglect resulting in death.

The complaint in the case, filed Friday, alleges that Williams was a regular drug user who smoked synthetic marijuana shortly before Reena disappeared.

According to the complaint, witnesses reported seeing Reena wandering alone up to 1½ miles away from home several times in the months before her death. A neighbor had brought Reena home about 5 p.m. Aug. 14 after finding Reena walking alone a half-mile from home.

Reena was then reported missing shortly before 7 p.m. Her body was found in a canal shortly before 5 p.m. Aug. 15.

Arrest warrants were issued for Williams and Danish on Friday. Burnett County Sheriff's officials say the two turned themselves in Sunday.