CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago woman has been charged with first-degree murder more than a week after the death of her 3-year-old nephew, who she allegedly pushed into Lake Michigan and watched as he sank into the water.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office announced the murder charge Tuesday against Victoria Moreno, 34. She was initially charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery to a child and ordered held without bail.
Moreno, a Des Plaines resident, was again denied bail Tuesday during a second bond hearing on the new charge, WTTW-TV reported. She is due back in court on Oct. 24.
Moreno is accused of shoving her nephew, Josiah Brown, into the water near Chicago’s Navy Pier on Sept. 19 and watching as he sank below the water, prosecutors said. Divers found him about 30 minutes later after passersby called 911 and threw a life preserver in the water.
The boy was transported in critical condition to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he died on Sept. 25, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.
On the morning of Sept. 19, prosecutors said, Moreno stole the keys to a family truck in Des Plaines and “snuck out of the residence without anyone knowing that she had left.”
Prosecutors said Moreno was not allowed to drive because she takes medication for “mental health issues” and because of an incident a week earlier when she drove to Navy Pier with several children, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Moreno’s attorney said during Tuesday’s bond hearing that the state had failed to prove that his client had any “intent to kill” the boy.