Bail denied for woman who tossed 3-year-old nephew into Lake Michigan off Navy Pier, despite defense claims of mental illness

A woman has been charged with pushing her 3-year-old nephew into Lake Michigan off Navy Pier, leaving him in “very critical” condition.

Ashlee Rezin | Sun-Times

Three-year-old Josiah Brown was pushed into Lake Michigan by his “beloved aunt” who then stood by as he sunk to the bottom off Navy Pier, where divers would find him a half-hour later, prosecutors said in court Wednesday.

The boy was in cardiac arrest when he was pulled from the water and was rushed to Lurie Children’s Hospital in “very critical condition,” officials said. He is not expected to survive, prosecutors said during a bond hearing for the aunt, Victoria Moreno.

Judge Susanna Ortiz denied bail for Moreno, despite defense arguments that she suffers from mental issues. The judge called Moreno’s actions “intentionally brutal and heinous.”

Her ruling came after a detailed account of Moreno’s actions on the day of the incident Monday. That morning, she slipped out of the family home in Des Plaines with the boy while another aunt went to wake up her kids and his grandmother went to change, according to State’s Atty. Lorraine Scaduto.

Moreno “stole the keys” to the family’s truck and “snuck out of the residence without anyone knowing that she had left,” Scaduto said.

The other aunt no longer heard the boy talking “and became alarmed,” Scaduto said. That’s when she noticed Moreno and the boy were gone, and the truck was missing.

Moreno wasn’t allowed to drive because she takes medication for “mental health issues” and because of an alarming incident a week earlier when she drove off with several children.

Moreno initially attempted to take the boy to the Shedd Aquariam but then decided to get him a happy meal at Navy Pier. After leaving the restaurant, the boy wandered into a street and was nearly struck by a car coming out of a parking garage, Scaduto said.

Moreno grabbed the child and began walking with him on the sidewalk close to the water. The child crawled under one of the barrier chains and was on all fours, about three feet away from the edge and the six foot drop to the water.

Moreno took hold of the child’s foot and pulled him back “apparently because there were several people in the immediate vicinity,” Scaduto said.

“The defendant looked around her multiple times and waited for people to leave, looking around once again, and when no one was present she allowed the 3-year-old child to crawl back under the chain toward the edge of the platform — doing nothing,” Scaduto said.

Moreno then climbed over the chain, straddled the child and pushed him off the platform with both hands, according to prosecutors. She sat down and stared into the water as the boy sunk beneath the water.

Seconds later, she walked several feet away and stood on the sidewalk “again doing nothing,” prosecutors said, noting the entire incident was …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times


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