The parents of a 3-year-old girl who drowned in a canal near her home in Danbury, Wis., appeared in court on Wednesday to learn how the case against them will proceed.
"I miss her. She's the greatest thing I ever had and I've got three other daughters," Thomas Williams, the girl's father, told reporters while leaving the Burnett County Court. When asked how he is coping with the loss, he replied, "I'm not."
The hearing in Siren, Wis., was short, but the next one coming up in October won't be. That's when prosecutors will present evidence against 42-year-old Williams and 33-year-old Jenna Danish to show they have enough to take the case to trial.
Testimony from witnesses is expected to paint a picture of how the pair neglected their daughter. Neighbors told FOX 9 News they found the girl wandering as far as a mile and a half away from her home multiple times, including on the same day she disappeared.
Searches of the couple's home also found marijuana pipes and a bong, along with synthetic marijuana.
"We allege this to be a mind-altering substance," William Norine, district attorney, said. "Some people say it's more mind-altering than marijuana itself."
Norine acknowledged that there are questions about the legality or illegality of such substances, which is why there are no drug charges at this point; however, the criminal complaint does claim those substances contributed to Reena Williams' disappearance and death.
Drug paraphernalia, including what appeared to be marijuana seeds, are currently being tested. Additional charges could follow once the results come back, but they would be misdemeanors.
The couple is currently facing felony neglect charges. If convicted, they each face a maximum of 25 years imprisonment.
KDFW FOX 4
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