Woman holding baby jumps from interstate overpass in Madison County, investigators say

Tennessee News
Tonisha Lashay Barker & Johnathan Jones, 21 months

Tonisha Lashay Barker, 26, & Johnathan Jones, 21 months (submitted by family to WREG)

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 26-year-old Memphis woman is believed to have jumped from an interstate overpass in Madison County with a baby in her arms early Monday morning, killing herself and the child, according to investigators.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded just after midnight to a crash at the Shell Station on Law Road, just south of exit 93 on Interstate 40.

While deputies were en route, they said they received additional calls of a female driver attempting to hit the gas pump. Witnesses reported the woman got out of the vehicle with a small child, walked over to the interstate overpass and disappeared.

A few minutes later, deputies said they received a call from a driver stating a “large object” had fallen from the bridge and struck his truck, as he was traveling westbound on I-40.

When deputies arrived, they said they located the bodies of 26-year-old Tonisha Lashay Barker and a child. A relative of Barker identified the child to WREG as Johnathan Jones, who was 21 months old.

No additional information was immediately released.

The incident remains under investigation by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a prevention network of 161 crisis centers that provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. If you need help, please call 1-800-273-8255.

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