Case Update: Charges Upgraded Against Mother of 5-Year-Old Chance Peterkin, Found Dead in Florida Lake on July 24

Chance Peterkin.
(Chance Peterkin Memorial Page on Facebook)

Today’s update concerns the case of Florida five-year-old Chance Peterkin, who went missing with his mother on July 23, 2020 from their home in Avon Park.

Chance’s mother, 29-year-old Philletta Moransit, was found several hours later, naked but alive on the campus of South Florida State College. Chance’s body was found shortly after midnight, floating near the edge of Lake Lelia. 

In a news release yesterday, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office said, “His body was nearly 100 feet from 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.”

When Philletta was initially arrested after the discovery of her son’s body, she was charged with aggravated child abuse and resisting an officer. However, on Wednesday, August 12, the child abuse charge was upgraded to aggravated manslaughter of a child. If she is convicted, she could face up to life in prison. 

Philletta Moranset
Philletta Moransit and little Chance.

The Sheriff’s Office said, “She has not shared any information about what happened the day Chance died.”

Chance’s death was ruled a drowning. 

Detectives with the HCSO would like to speak with anyone who may have seen Philletta and/or Chance on July 23. If you have any information, please call (863) 402-7250 or email You can also submit anonymous tips through Heartland Crime Stoppers at (800) 226-TIPS or

Family and close friends said goodbye to Chance at a home-going service held at Victory Tabernacle Apostolic Church in Avon Park on Saturday, August 8. Teachers from Chance’s preschool, the Busy Kids Creative Learning Center, posted photos of their participation in the memorial service and the subsequent lantern release. 

Click here for my ongoing coverage of Chance’s case.

  • Chance Peterkin funeral program
  • Chance Peterkin memorial funeral
  • Chance Peterkin lantern release
  • Chance Peterkin lantern release
  • Chance Peterkin lantern release
  • Preschool teachers at Chance Peterkin lantern release
  • Chance Peterkin memorial bracelets
  • Chance Peterkin
  • Chance Peterkin
  • Chance Peterkin
  • Chance Peterkin
  • Chance Peterkin

Sources: 10 Tampa Bay WTSP, Facebook, Chance Peterkin Memorial Page on Facebook

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