CHICAGO (UKTN) – The woman accused of pushing her 3-year-old nephew in Lake Michigan near Navy Pier had taken the child from his home without informing the rest of their family, prosecutors claimed.
The woman, Victoria Moreno, 34, of Des Plaines, isattempted murder and aggravation of a child. Police said Moreno pushed the boy into the water Monday afternoon and made no attempt to save him. According to the prosecutor’s office, the boy will probably not survive.
Moreno appeared in court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors said the boy was at the Des Plaines home 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 without telling the other family members.
Another family member became alarmed when she noticed that Moreno and the child were gone.
The family was especially concerned because Moreno had also taken three children living in the family home to Navy Pier without permission last week. An 11-year-old child she brought with her told other family members where to take them home.
During Monday’s incident, prosecutors said Moreno drove into Chicago and tried to enter the Shedd Aquarium with the boy, but couldn’t because she only had cash.
Shortly after noon, she parked at Navy Pier and entered a McDonalds to order food. Moreno eventually took the boy to the pier where chains were placed on poles to keep people away from the water.
The boy crawled under the chains and reached the edge of the platform. When no one was there, Moreno had the boy crawl to the edge of the pier. She climbed over the chains, straddled him, then pushed him into the lake.
Moreno sat staring into the water as the child drowned, prosecutors claimed.
Two people heard the child hit the water and saw Moreno crouching by the platform. They asked what had happened to the boy and she said nothing, but later claimed that she did not know the boy.
The two witnesses called the police and were given a life preserver. But minutes after the boy was pushed, he sank underwater.
Moreno did not ask for help and pretended not to know the child when questioned by police, prosecutors said.
The boy was picked up at the bottom of the lake by Chicago Fire Department personnel about 30 minutes after falling in.
He is still in hospital with multiple critical injuries. He is on a ventilator and needs heart support. Prosecutors say he is unlikely to survive.
There is a chance Moreno will face additional charges if the boy dies, prosecutors added.
Moreno was held without bail. She has no previous arrest.