Scharron Renea Dingledine, a 26-year-old mother, was discovered sinking into a downtown Lawrence river on August 3rd. Her children, a five-year-old girl and one-year-old son, were in the vehicle with her when it plunged into the water. Emergency crews were able to rescue the mother and her son, but the five-year-old couldn’t be found. Witness reports confirm the mother immediately told responding personnel about the other child who was trapped in the car. Tragically, rescue teams were not able to recover her body until the next morning.
The one-year-old boy remains in the hospital with critical injuries, but police became increasingly suspicious when they began to analyze the day’s events. The mother and her son were discovered floating on the water’s surface, but the female child was still strapped in her car. Police will continue to release details as they emerge, but authorities may have reason to believe that the mother intentionally drove her vehicle into the river.
One day after the tragic crash, Dingledine was taken into police custody. Trent McKinley, a Captain with the Lawrence Police Department, confirmed that the mother is facing charges related to murder and attempted murder of her children. The police department explained that it remains unclear whether the mother’s actions of driving into the river were intentional or not, but investigators are taking every precaution in this case.
Dingledine is currently being detained at the Douglas County Jail. She has been denied bond. The Lawrence Police Department is asking anyone with information regarding this crime to contact their office at 785-832-7509.