Highlands County Sheriff’s Office- Moransit charged with aggravated manslaughter

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SEBRING — Philletta Breanna Moransit, 29, who has been jailed since her 5-year-old son was found dead in an Avon Park lake on July 24, is now facing more serious charges.

Moransit had initially been booked into the Highlands County Jail on charges of aggravated child neglect and resisting an officer. On Aug. 12, the District 10 Office of the State’s Attorney issued a warrant that upgraded her charge to aggravated manslaughter of a child, which is punishable by up to life in prison.

Chance Peterkin was found in Lake Lelia after an extensive search. His body was nearly 100 feet from the shore in thick grass. The grass would have made it very unlikely that a child could have gotten to that portion of the lake without assistance. His cause of death was determined to be drowning.

Moransit was found on the campus of South Florida State College several hours earlier. She has not shared any information about what happened the day Chance died.

Peterkin and Moransit were reported missing earlier in the evening, approximately nine hours after they left a home on Purcell Street on foot. Detectives are still seeking to speak to anyone who may have seen them as they walked from that location to the lake. If you have any information, please call 863-402-7250 or email detectives@highlandssheriff.org. Tips can also be left via the HCSO smartphone app or with Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com.

Note: Not all arrests result in convictions. Everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty in court.