Sheriff: 3 dead after fleeing car plunges into Florida pond

AP News
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Posted: Mar 31, 2016 4:44 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say three teenage girls were found dead inside a stolen car after driving into a pond while fleeing sheriff's deputies in Florida.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says the driver apparently missed a sharp turn near a cemetery and went into the water near St. Petersburg early Thursday. Investigators have identified the girls as 15-year-old Laniya Miller, 15-year-old Ashaunti Butler and 16-year-old Dominique Battle. It wasn't immediately clear who was driving.

Gualtieri says a deputy spotted the car driving without headlights and tried to stop it. The driver fled, eventually running a red light.

The sheriff says the pond's water was so murky that police could not find the car. He said the vehicle was like a "death chamber," with its windows rolled up and doors closed. Divers later found it in 15 feet of water.