Aunt charged with attempted murder for throwing three-year-old nephew into Lake Michigan

·2-min read
Aunt charged with attempted murder for throwing three-year-old nephew into Lake Michigan

A 34-year-old aunt has been charged with the attempted murder of her three-year-old nephew after she allegedly threw him off Chicago’s Navy Pier into Lake Michigan.

Victoria Moreno, 34, is due in court on Wednesday on charges of felony attempted first-degree murder and felony aggravated battery of a child, while the little boy remains in hospital fighting for his life.

The chilling incident unfolded at around 1pm on Monday when police said surveillance footage captured the suspect pushing her nephew to the end of the pier before throwing him into the lake.

A police source told WGN that Ms Moreno made no attempt to rescue the boy, who was pulled from the water by authorities around the 700 block of East Grand Avenue.

The youngster was in cardiac arrest and was rushed to the city’s Lurie Children’s Hospital, police said.

He is currently on life support and is not expected to survive.

Chicago Police Department has not officially confirmed the relationship between the suspect and the victim but a source confirmed to WGN that Ms Moreno is the boy’s aunt.

The three-year-old had been in the care of his grandmother that day when his aunt snatched him from the home when the grandmother briefly went upstairs, according to authorities.

Ms Moreno initially told investigators that she was just a witness to the incident, then later said she had been holding the boy by the shirt and let him fall into the water, a source said.

Victoria Moreno is accused of throwing her nephew into Lake Michigan (Chicago Police Department)
Victoria Moreno is accused of throwing her nephew into Lake Michigan (Chicago Police Department)

“As with any incident involving children, these are difficult circumstances. We ask that you keep the family in your thoughts,” said Area Three Deputy Chief Gabriella Shemash.

The victim’s family is now being investigated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Service, said spokesman Bill McCaffrey.

He said that the department had no previous contact with the family.

In a statement, officials for Navy Pier said: “Navy Pier is deeply saddened to learn about the injury of a child pulled from the water this afternoon. We are working very closely with the Chicago Police Department as they investigate the incident. Our hearts are with the child and his loved ones.”