Woman accused of pushing 3-year-old nephew off Navy Pier into Lake Michigan expected in court
The woman accused of pushing her 3-year-old nephew off Navy Pier into Lake Michigan is expected in court Friday.
The boy, who prosecutors identified as Josiah Brown, suffered cardiac arrest and severe brain damage after being under the water for 30 minutes. He died days later.
Victoria Moreno, 34, was first charged with attempted murder when Josiah was still being treated in the hospital. Since the young boy’s death, her charge could be upgraded.
Prosecutors say Moreno of Des Plaines, Illinois, was seen on surveillance video pushing him into the lake. She was charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery to a child under the age of 13 causing permanent disability, police said Wednesday. Those charges will almost certainly be upgraded.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Susanna Ortiz denied bail for Moreno during bond hearing, despite defense arguments that she suffers from mental issues.
Prosecutors said, earlier that afternoon, Josiah was at the family’s Des Plaines home where he lives with his grandmother and another aunt. Moreno allegedly stole keys to the family’s truck and took Josiah without telling the other family members.
Another family member became alarmed when she noticed Moreno and the child were gone. Moreno was not allowed to drive because of medication she’s on for mental health issues.
The family was especially worried because, the week before, Moreno had taken three children living at the family home to Navy Pier also without permission. The oldest child, an 11-year-old, called other family members for help and told them their location.
Two people heard the child hit the water and saw Moreno crouching by the platform. They asked what happened to the boy and she said nothing, but later claimed she did not know the boy.
The two witnesses called police and got a life ring. But several minutes after the boy was pushed, he sunk under the water.
One witness, Ashton King, was at the pier and saw the boy in the water.
“The red flags were there,” King said. “She was acting very weird. I did end up telling the officer, I said, ‘Listen … she was the only one here when we got here. She’s just been acting off, weird. I just don’t know if she’s off. Something is not right.'”
The family created a GoFundMe originally for the boy’s medical expenses.