Victoria Moreno, 34, was arrested on Sept. 19 after allegedly pushing her nephew off the Navy Pier boardwalk into the water below.
“The offender did not attempt to rescue the victim,” police said in a news release.
The child was pulled from the water by emergency personnel and transported to a local hospital in critical condition, police wrote. A week later, he was pronounced dead.
The toddler, identified as Josiah Brown, had been dropped off at his grandmother’s house in Des Plaines for the day when his aunt took him out of the house without anyone else knowing.
Moreno took the three-year-old to Navy Pier and allegedly allowed him to crawl under a chain link fence that was blocking access to the water, prosecutors said, as reported by NBC News. When people started watching them, Moreno allegedly pulled Brown toward her, but when no one was around, she climbed over the fence and pushed him off the platform, prosecutors claim.
The child fell six feet into the water and sank before witnesses could help him, authorities said. Chicago Fire Department divers recovered the boy from the bottom of the lake after 30 minutes, according to prosecutors.
The boy suffered a swollen brain, seizures and bleeding in his lungs before eventually dying on Sept. 25, prosecutors said.
When the boy’s aunt was questioned by authorities, she allegedly pretended to not know the child before switching gears and claiming he was “acting up” and fell into the lake when she let go of his shirt.
Moreno was arrested less than an hour after the incident and was charged with first-degree attempted murder and aggravated battery of a child.
Now that Brown has died, Chicago police announced Monday morning that the state’s attorney’s office may upgrade Moreno’s charges.
Moreno was denied bail on Wednesday at a court hearing where her defence lawyer argued that she suffers from mental health issues. According to Fox News, Moreno has a reported history of insomnia, depression and anxiety and had allegedly taken her nieces without permission before.
Moreno is due in court again on Sept. 30. She has been ordered not to contact her family during the investigation.
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