Highlands County

Mother Arrested After Police Find Five-Year-Old Son Dead in Highlands County Lake

Highlands County Sheriff's Office

A woman in Highlands County is facing charges after authorities found the body of her five-year-old son floating in a lake, NBC affiliate WFLA-TV reported Friday.

According to the Highland County Sheriff's Office, 29-year-old Philetta Moransit and her son Chance Peterkin left their home in Avon Park Thursday morning and were reported missing around 6 p.m. that evening.

Crews searched for several hours and found Peterkin's body in Lake Leila, near U.S. Highway 27, shortly after midnight.

“Sheriff Paul Blackman, who had been on a boat searching for several hours, located Chance in the water around 12:20 a.m., ending an extensive search of the area in and around the lake,” the sheriff's office posted on Facebook.

Moransit had been located close to 8 p.m. on the campus of South Florida State college, the post said. She had been "uncooperative with the investigation," but deputies said they located some of her clothing near the water.

She was arrested on charges of resisting an officer and child neglect with great bodily harm. Jail records show she has no bond.

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