Two Iowa parents were charged with first-degree murder this month for allegedly drowning their newborn daughter in a bathtub because they were worried authorities would find illegal drugs in her body.
KIOW 107.3 News reports police arrested and charged Taylor K. Blaha, 24, and Brandon D. Thoma, 31, of Fort Dodge, last week on first-degree murder charges. They are still searching for the baby girl’s body.
“All available resources and manpower have been utilized to attempt to locate the newborn’s body and to investigate the circumstances surrounding its birth, death and the disappearance of its remains,” the Fort Dodge Police Department said in a statement.
Investigators said Blaha admitted to giving birth Nov. 16 in their home after taking methamphetamine. She said she and Thoma panicked when the baby began to cry, so they took her to the bathtub and held her face-down in the water until she drowned, according to the report.
Thoma reportedly told authorities that they were afraid of losing custody of their 2-year-old son if drugs were found in the newborn’s body.
According to the Metro, Blaha said they initially had planned to give their daughter to her sister to adopt; but when the baby began to cry, they were afraid the neighbors would hear and call police.
According to authorities, the couple named their daughter before they killed her: Kayleen Lee Blaha, Live Action News reports.
In her affidavit, Detective Amy Stringer of the Webster County Sheriff’s Office wrote, “on November 22, Law Enforcement received a call … reporting that a woman had been admitted to a hospital, that she had given birth to a baby at home and later [the baby] had been buried… Detective [Stringer] went to the hospital.” …
[Blaha] admitted they had attempted, unsuccessfully, to kill their child while still in the womb, but the method and number of attempts are unknown. Authorities later confirmed that their electronic devices revealed searches for “how to force a miscarriage.”
Police said they searched a wooded area where the couple had discussed burying the infant’s body, but did not find it. They said they are working with state and federal authorities to continue the investigation.
“Investigators are continuing to follow up on all credible leads and encourage anyone with information to contact the Fort Dodge Police Department,” police said. “Information may also be submitted anonymously via Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers are still offering a $1,500.00 reward for information leading to the discovery of the newborn’s body.”
Infanticide, like abortion, destroys the life of a unique and valuable child who is fully dependent on his/her parents to survive. The pro-life movement works to protect newborns from infanticide as well as abortion by supporting safe haven laws, adoption and resources to help pregnant and parenting families.
All 50 states have safe haven laws that allow mothers to safely surrender their newborns to authorities, often at a police station or hospital, without repercussions as long as the infant is unharmed. Typically, laws allow safe surrender within a certain time limit, such as up to 30 days after the baby’s birth. Indiana and several other states also have heated baby boxes where women can safely surrender newborns.