Prosecutors have charged a woman for pushing her own three-year-old nephew off the edge of a pier and watching him silently as he drowned in the water.
In a report by the Chicago-Sun Times, Victoria Moreno had run off from her family's home in the city of Des Plaines, United States with the boy in her arms, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto during the bond hearing. Scaduto said that she "stole the keys" and "snuck out of the residence without anyone knowing that she had left."
Moreno, who is said to be taking medication because she is suffering from "mental health issues," initially planned to take her nephew to an aquarium, but changed her mind and decided to head to Navy Pier to get him food.
Scaduto said that Moreno took the toddler and began to walk with him on the sidewalk close to the water. She then let him crawl under one of the barrier chains and was about three feet away from the edge.
She quickly pulled him away from the ledge, but it was only because there were people nearby who could see them.
"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 three-year-old child to crawl back under the chain toward the edge of the platform, doing nothing,” Scaduto said.
Later on, Moreno walked up to the child and ruthlessly pushed him off the platform with both hands and stood by "doing nothing" as he struggled to stay afloat.
"Not once during any of these events did the defendant scream for help, call for help, ask for help or try herself to help," Scaduto underscored.
Concerned citizens immediately called 911 and tried to help the drowning boy by throwing a life preserver. It took divers about 30 minutes to find him at the bottom of the lake. By the time they pulled him out of the water, he was already in cardiac arrest.
The incident resulted in the child getting a swollen brain and bleeding in his lungs.
While paramedics managed to revive him and bring him to the hospital, Scaduto said it's "not likely that he will survive these extensive injuries."
When the police arrived, Moreno "pretended not to know anything about the child," but officers arrested her and charged her with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery on a child.
Moreno's attorney said that her actions were instigated by a psychotic break brought about by "severe mental health." He detailed that she had been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and is on medication on a daily basis. Her family members are also well aware of her situation.
Moreno will have another court hearing for her case on Sept. 30.