Grieving mother of 5-year-old girl thrown from bridge: 'She was my angel'

Michelle Kerr, the mother of Phoebe Jonchuck, a 5-year-old girl who was killed when she was thrown off a bridge by her father, has described her daughter as her angel.

Kerr revealed she was devastated after learning of the death of her daughter, whom she described as someone who loved making people smile.

Phoebe was tragically thrown to her death when her father, John Jonchuck Jr, tossed her off a bridge into the waters of Tampa Bay early Thursday morning.

Phoebe Jonchuck(Photo courtesy of Melody Dishman)

"She was my angel. I always called her my angel baby. She loved to learn new things. She loved to make you smile," Kerr said of her daughter. "She was so animated."

According to Kerr, she last saw Phoebe and Jonchuck on Christmas Eve, when they exchanged presents. The evening took a sour turn, however, when Jonchuck called child protective services and made up false abuse allegations against Kerr, reports Fox 13 News.

"He does the Jekyll and Hyde. It's just something that goes on in his head. He just wasn't wired right," she said.

WFLA reports that according to Kerr, Jonchuck was a violent partner before they separated two years ago. She said that on one occasion, he struck her in the head with a cinder block.

"I woke up and he was crying over me and I was bleeding profusely," the 29-year-old, who is a mother to two other children, recounted.

But though she had a tumultuous relationship with Jonchuck, Kerr thought that he was "good" to their child, even if he handled her roughly at times.

"Never did I think he'd do this," she said.

Kerr and Jonchuck legally shared custody of Phoebe, but the child lived with Jonchuck as Kerr had multiple sclerosis and can't walk. She noted Phoebe was affectionate to her dad.

"She would always say 'I love you' to him," Kerr said. "She loved her daddy."

Though she is wracked with anguish, Kerr said she does not hate Jonchuck.

"She would want me to withhold hate," Kerr said. "That would be Phoebe's wish. She was so loveable. She was an amazing, amazing, amazing child."