Lake Michigan

Aunt Accused of Pushing Toddler Into Lake Michigan to Appear in Court Friday

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Victoria Moreno, the woman accused of fatally pushing her 3-year-old nephew into Lake Michigan off Navy Pier earlier this month is scheduled to appear in a Cook County court for a hearing Friday.

According to authorities, Moreno, 34, pushed 3-year-old Josiah Brown into Lake Michigan on Sept. 19. Moreno, the boys aunt, then stood by as he sank below the water, where divers found him about 30 minutes later, Cook County prosecutors said. The boy was rushed to Lurie Children’s Hospital in very critical condition.

He was pronounced dead one week later.

Moreno initially told responding officers that she was only a witness, then claimed she was holding the boy’s shirt and let go because he “was acting up,” according to a police report and a source with knowledge of the investigation.

The morning of the incident, Moreno had 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 prosecutors.

Moreno then “stole the keys” to the family’s truck and “snuck out of the residence without anyone knowing that she had left,” prosecutors said. The other aunt no longer heard the boy talking “and became alarmed,” prosecutors said. That’s when she noticed Moreno and the boy were gone and a truck was missing.

Neighbors of the family said the boy’s father has a medical issue that required him to be taken out by stretchers and ambulances several times over the last few weeks. The father, Dantrell Brown, has posted on social media about his diagnosis of congestive heart failure three years ago at age 22, just days before the birth of his son.

Moreno was denied bail at her court hearing last week Wednesday despite defense arguments that she suffers from mental health issues. She is charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery to a child.

NBC Chicago/Sun-Times Wire
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