Boy, three, dies after aunt ‘pushed him into lake and watched as he sank’

US News

A three-year-old boy has died after his aunt allegedly pushed him into Lake Michigan in Chicago, US officials say.

Josiah Brown was pronounced dead shortly after 10am local time (4pm UK time) on Sunday.

He had been in a critical condition after being pulled from the lake last Monday and had not been expected to survive.

Victoria Moreno. Pic: Chicago Police
Victoria Moreno. Pic: Chicago Police

Josiah was allegedly shoved by his aunt Victoria Moreno at Navy Pier, a fall of more than 6ft, and she then stood by as he sank below the water, according to authorities.

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Divers found the boy at the bottom of the lake about half an hour later.

Moreno, 34, initially told officers she was only a witness, then claimed she was holding the youngster’s shirt and let go because he “was acting up,” NBC Chicago said, citing a police report and a source with knowledge of the investigation.

She had slipped out of the family home in nearby Des Plaines with the boy on the morning of the incident while another aunt went to wake up her children and his grandmother went to change, according to prosecutors.

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Moreno “stole the keys” to the family’s truck and “snuck out of the residence without anyone knowing that she had left,” prosecutors said, according to NBC Chicago.

The other aunt no longer heard the boy talking “and became alarmed,” prosecutors claimed. That was when she noticed Moreno and Josiah were gone, and a truck was missing.

Emergency services at the scene at Navy Pier, Lake Michigan. Pic: NBC Chicago
Emergency services at the scene at Navy Pier, Lake Michigan. Pic: NBC Chicago

Moreno was charged with attempted murder last week.

She was also charged with aggravated battery of a child under the age of 13 causing permanent disability.

The Cook County state’s attorney’s office did not immediately respond when asked if the charges against Moreno would be upgraded after Josiah’s death.

Moreno remains in Cook County jail after a judge last week ordered that she be held without bail.

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