Iowa mother killed 5-week-old daughter after allegedly throwing her in frustration, then blamed her 2-year-old child
28-year-old Alicia Marie Ross has been charged with first degree murder and child endangerment causing death over the incident
An Iowa mother who was charged with first-degree murder over the death of her 5-week-old daughter allegedly confessed she threw the infant down in a fit of frustration, causing her to hit her head on a coffee table and sustain fatal injuries.
At around 12:45 p.m. On August 21, the Fayette County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from the home of 28-year-old Alicia Marie Rios saying her daughter, Lydia Rios, was having trouble breathing. According to a statement on the sheriff's office's Facebook page, deputies and medical personnel responded to the 509 Main Street residence in Elgin and transported the victim to Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital for treatment.
The infant was then transported to the American Children’s Family Hospital at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals & Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin, via a medical helicopter and was hospitalized. Lydia was taken off life support four days later on August 25 and died the next day.
People reported the contents of a search warrant that stated a responding officer found the infant on the ground and the 28-year-old mother "kneeling on the ground crying hysterically." Alicia had blamed the injuries on her 2-year-old child, telling authorities Lydia had been sleeping in the car seat when her other child dropped a toy on her head.
The 5-week-old girl was found to have had "several skull fractures, two brain bleeds, and was in a coma." An autopsy later determined the infant had died of blunt force trauma to the head, with hospital staff members notifying the sheriff's office of the suspicious nature of Lydia's injuries.
Doctors told authorities the injuries the girl sustained were not consistent with Alicia's accounts, with a preliminary investigation aided by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation zeroing in on the mother as the culprit. She was arrested by Fayette County Deputies and Agents with the Iowa DCI and charged with one count of murder in the first degree, a class A felony and child endangerment causing death, a class B felony.
During a later interview with investigators, the 28-year-old is said to have confessed to throwing her daughter because she was frustrated, admitting the child had then hit her head on the coffee table. Alicia was taken to the Fayette County Jail and is waiting for her initial court appearance.
She has not yet entered a plea and faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, if convicted of her charges. Sheriff Marty Fisher, however, insisted she would be given the benefit of the doubt. "It should be noted that a criminal charge is merely an accusation and all suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law," he said.