By: Melody Shillito
Oct. 6th, 2022: After being pushed into Lake Michigan, a 3-year-old boy has been pronounced dead. The boy was with his aunt, Victoria Moreno, 34, when he was pushed into the water at the 700 block of East Grand Street. He fell more than six feet from the Navy Pier, which is also a popular tourist attraction in Chicago. Moreno allegedly allowed him to crawl under a chain-link fence and when no one else was around, climbed over the fence and pushed him off the edge. In a news release, police said, “The offender did not attempt to rescue the victim.” The child had not been expected to survive after going into cardiac arrest in the lake during the 30 minutes it took divers to pull him out from the bottom of the lake.
The victim was transported to a hospital in critical condition after being pulled from the water by first responders. The young boy, identified as Josiah Brown, was at Lurie Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:16 a.m. Sunday morning by Cook County medical examiners.
Less than an hour after the incident, Moreno was arrested at the scene. She was caught on surveillance footage pushing the kid into the water after waiting for witnesses to clear the area and charged with first-degree attempted murder and aggravated battery of a child, which Judge Susanna Ortiz considered an “intentionally brutal and heinous … act indicative of wanton cruelty.” Prosecutors said that Moreno lives in Des Plaines, a Chicago suburb, with her family and left the house with Josiah without anyone else knowing.
A mom of three who called 911 after seeing the youngster in the water “looking straight up at the sky, just terrified” immediately notified cops that Morena was “not acting right.” “To not have been physically able to jump down and pull him out of the water is the hardest thing that I think I will ever have to live with,” Ashton King, 31, told Fox 32.
During a court hearing Wednesday, Moreno was denied bail where the defense argued she has mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia, her public defender,
Patrick Shine, told her first court hearing. She had also taken the boy and two of her nieces to the pier a week earlier — but the eldest child, age 11, called family members to pick them up, Block Club Chicago reported. On Monday, she took Josiah while his grandmother was getting changed and then stole the family’s truck, despite being banned from driving because of her medications. His dad, Dantrell Brown, posted a montage of pictures for his ”Jedi JoJo” on social media with the caption, “Rest easy my bubba.” Brown was only able to spend three hours at the hospital with his son since he is currently in another hospital awaiting a heart transplant. He had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure when he was just 22 years old, days before his son’s birth. “If I don’t make it out we can finally have that swim together that I promised you,” he wrote in a heart-wrenching tribute to his son