Victoria Moreno: Chicago woman tosses 3-yr-old nephew into Lake Michigan, keeps watching as he goes under water
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Victoria Moreno, 34, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated violence after she flung her three-year-old nephew into Lake Michigan on Monday, September 19. During her court hearing on Wednesday, September 21, prosecutors alleged that Moreno looked around to see if anybody was looking as her three-year-old nephew went towards the edge of the Navy Pier. She leaned down, picked him up in both hands and threw him into the water.
Prosecutors claimed in an emotional court declaration that Moreno then sat down and watched as her nephew went under the waves. "Not once during any of these events did the defendant scream for help, call for help, ask for help or try herself to help,” Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said, according to the Chicago Sun Times. “When the police arrived, the defendant pretended not to know anything about the child,” she added.
The child was in cardiac arrest when divers rescued him after spending 30 minutes searching for him at the lake's bottom. He was awakened by paramedics and sent to Lurie Children's Hospital, but according to Scaduto, he is not expected to live. According to the child's family, the father has been unable to visit his son since he was a patient at Loyola Medical Center awaiting a heart transplant.
Despite claims from the defense that Moreno, 34, had mental health concerns and could have had a breakdown, Judge Susanna Ortiz refused her request for bail. Moreno's conduct was described by the judge as "intentionally brutal and heinous."
Her decision followed a comprehensive explanation by the prosecution of Moreno's conduct that day. According to Scaduto, Moreno had sneaked out of the Des Plaines family home that morning with the youngster as another aunt went to wake up her children and his grandmother went to change. Moreno "stole the keys" to the family's truck and "snuck out of the residence without anyone knowing she had left." The prosecutor said that the second aunt "became alarmed" when she could no longer hear the child talking. At that point, she realized Moreno, the boy, and the truck were gone. As Moreno took medicine for "mental health concerns" and because of a concerning occurrence a week prior in which she fled the scene with many children, Scaduto claimed that Moreno was not permitted to operate a motor vehicle.
Initially, Moreno tried to take the youngster to the Shedd Aquarium, but he changed his mind and they went to the Navy Pier to get lunch. The child left the restaurant and went onto the street, where he was almost was hit by a car leaving a parking garage, according to Scaduto, while Moreno was still there.
Moreno grabbed him on the sidewalk next to the lake. The youngster was on all fours, approximately three feet from the edge, and had snuck through one of the barriers. According to Scaduto, Moreno grabbed the child's foot and pulled him back "apparently because there were several people in the immediate vicinity."
If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.