3 dead after car crashes into river during police chase

MILWAUKEE (AP/WISN) - A toddler, her young mother and a man died when their vehicle drove into a frigid river while being chased by the Milwaukee Police.

Surveillance video shows the vehicle speeding and the driver losing control before the SUV crashed into the Kinnickinnic River Monday night. It’s unclear who was driving the vehicle. Police Chief Alfonso Morales said the adults were suspects in several armed robberies.

The body of 19-year-old Shannon Nehmer was recovered from the vehicle late Monday, family members said. Her child, 2-year-old Annamelia Hernandez, and her 29-year-old boyfriend Charles Barefield were found in the vehicle when it was pulled from the water on Tuesday afternoon.

Online court records show Charles Barefield had one felony conviction for armed robbery in Winnebago County in 2008. He served at least seven years in prison.

Autopsies were scheduled for Wednesday, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Kristin Nehmer, the sister of the woman who died, told WTMJ-TV that she was having difficulty understanding why her sister was fleeing police with her young daughter in the vehicle.

“I can’t imagine why she would have her daughter with her when she is doing things like that. That’s the hardest part,” Nehmer said. “She had a really good heart. She made a bad decision, but she was 19.”

Milwaukee police confirmed Wednesday they believe Charles Barefield and Shannon Nehmer were involved in robberies on New Year's Eve. They said there was a second man involved in the robberies but he was not in the vehicle.

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