A couple in Iowa have been charged with the murder of their infant daughter, which police say they drowned in a bathtub.
Prosecutors have believe Brandon Thoma, 31, and Taylor Blaha, 24, drowned their infant daughter Kayleen Lee in a bathtub because they were afraid its cries would attract the police.
According to an affidavit, Blaha discovered she was pregnant in April. She gave birth to a daughter on November 16 in her apartment in Fort Dodge. To ease the pain of delivery, Thoma gave her methamphetamines.
The couple planned to give their daughter to her sister to raise, but became fearful that their neighbors would call the police when they heard the infant’s cries.
Thoma and Blaha already had a 2-year-old son together, and Thoma said he was worried they might lose custody if authorities discovered meth in their newborn’s system.
Instead, the couple decided to hold the baby’s head underwater in the bathtub, just feet away from where Blaha had just given birth.
After searching the couple’s apartment, police found what they believe to be an umbilical cord or a placenta hidden in a dresser drawer. However, they have still not found the infant’s body.
Thoma is also facing an additional charge of abuse of corpse after admitting to police that he left with his newborn daughter in a backpack. Text messages between Thoma and Blaha show that he planned to bury their daughter in a wooded area, but searches of the area have not found any remains.
A search of the couples’ phones also revealed that they had been searching for methods to induce a miscarriage days before Blaha gave birth.
State records shows that Thoma has a long rap sheet. He has been charged with numerous misdemeanors, primarily for theft and forgery.
The couple will face preliminary hearings on December 15. They have both been held on bail set at $1million.
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