Skip to main content

3-Year-Old Illinois Boy Dies After His Aunt Allegedly Threw Him into Lake Michigan

Booking photo of Victoria Moreno

Victoria Moreno.

The 3-year-old boy allegedly thrown into Lake Michigan by his aunt has died, according to local reports out of Chicago, Illinois. Family identified the child as Josiah Brown. Authorities previously said he was in “very critical condition” from an incident last Monday.

His aunt Victoria Moreno, 34, allegedly threw him into the water at the Navy Pier tourist destination. She did nothing to help save him, said police and witnesses.

“An investigation determined that less than an hour earlier, the offender pushed a 3-year-old male into the water in the 700 block of E. Grand (18th District),” Chicago cops said last week. “The offender did not attempt to rescue the victim. The victim was pulled from the water by emergency personnel and transported to an area hospital in critical condition. The offender was placed into custody and charged accordingly.”

Those charges were one count each of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a child younger than 13 resulting in permanent disability. Prosecutors expect to bring more charges now that the boy has died.

“At this time, charges have not been upgraded in this case,” a state’s attorney spokesperson told Law&Crime in an email. “We anticipate that additional charges may be filed after the medical examiner’s office and police department have completed their investigations.”

“My friend and I were both like, ‘something is not right with this woman,’” witness Ashton King, who helped try to save Brown, told The Chicago Sun-Times last week. “She just seemed off. She seemed like she was under the influence of something, possibly.”

“I will never forget seeing his face as he slipped under the surface,” witness Allison Huston said. “It was absolutely horrible.”

Authorities have reportedly said that Brown’s mother left him in the care of his grandmother, but when the grandmother went to change, Moreno allegedly took the child in the mother’s car. Cops said Moreno first told them she was just a bystander to the child being in the water.

At some point, she admitted she was there with the boy and had taken him to Navy Pier to “go on the rides,” according to documents obtained by The Chicago Sun-Times.

Surveillance footage at the scene showed Moreno pushed the child into Lake Michigan, police said.

Her defense in court reportedly brought up her mental health issues.

A GoFundMe campaign to support the family raised $15,725 of a $100,000 goal as of Monday. It was started when Brown remained in critical condition. The page only mentioned the Lake Michigan incident, but Josiah’s father on social media previously mentioned that he suffered from heart failure, needed a heart transplant, had a seizure and discovered he had brain bleeding.

“I am raising money to make sure when the time comes, I will have any bills covered,” Dantrell Brown said.

[Booking photo via Chicago Police Department]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: