CHICAGO (CBS) – The woman accused of pushing her 3-year-old nephew into Lake Michigan near Navy Pier had taken the child from her home without the knowledge of the rest of their family, prosecutors have alleged.
The woman, Victoria Moreno, 34, of Des Plaines, isof attempted murder and aggravated assault and battery on a child. Police said Moreno pushed the boy into the water on Monday afternoon and made no attempt to rescue him. The boy is unlikely to survive, prosecutors say.
Moreno appeared in court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors said the boy was at the family home in Des Plaines on Monday afternoon, where he lives with his grandmother and another aunt. Moreno allegedly stole the keys to the family’s truck and took the boy away without telling other family members.
Another family member became alarmed when she noticed Moreno and the child were gone.
The family was particularly concerned because last week Moreno took three children living in the family home at Navy Pier also without permission. An 11-year-old child she had taken told other family members where to come to take them home.
In Monday’s incident, prosecutors said Moreno traveled to Chicago and attempted to enter the Shedd Aquarium with the boy, but was unable to do so because she was not only had money.
Shortly after noon, she parked at Navy Pier and walked into a McDonalds to order food. Moreno eventually took the boy to the pier where chains were placed on poles to keep people out of the water.
The boy crawled under the chains and came to the edge of the platform. When no one was present, Moreno let the boy crawl to the edge of the pier. She stepped over the chains, straddled him, then pushed him into the lake.
Moreno sat and watched in the water as the child drowned, prosecutors said.
Two people heard the child touch the water and saw Moreno crouching near the platform. They asked what happened to the boy and she didn’t say anything, but later claimed she didn’t know the boy.
The two witnesses called the police and got a lifeline. But a few minutes after being pushed, the boy sank underwater.
Moreno did not ask for help and claimed not to know the child when questioned by police, prosecutors said.
The boy was recovered by Chicago Fire Department personnel from the bottom of the lake about 30 minutes after he fell.
He is still hospitalized with multiple serious injuries. He is on a ventilator and requires cardiac support. Prosecutors said he was unlikely to survive.
There is a chance Moreno could face additional charges if the boy dies, prosecutors added.
Moreno was held without bond. She has no arrest history.