Iowa police say couple drowned newborn in bathtub, remains haven't been found

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Police in Iowa allege that a couple drowned their newborn child in the bathtub of an apartment shortly after the baby was born.

Brandon Thoma, 31, and Taylor Blaha, 24, are being charged in relation to the baby’s presumed death. Thoma is being charged with one felony count of abusing a corpse, according to court documents.

Webster County Sheriff’s Detective Amy Stringer said in an arrest affidavit that a caseworker called police on Nov. 22 after Blaha went to a Fort Dodge, Iowa hospital and said she gave birth to the baby inside the apartment, which was shared with the father, Thoma, and Blaha’s 2-year-old.

Blaha told Stronger that she found out about her pregnancy in April and delivered the baby on Nov. 16 in the bedroom of the apartment, according to the affidavit.

IOWA POLICE SAY ‘NO EVIDENCE’ FOUND AFTER EXCAVATION AT ALLEGED SITE WHERE RUMORED SERIAL KILLER DUMPED BODIES

Brandon Thoma (L), 31, and Taylor Blaha (R), 24, are being charged in relation to the baby's presumed death. Thoma is being charged with one felony count of abusing a corpse, according to court documents.

Brandon Thoma (L), 31, and Taylor Blaha (R), 24, are being charged in relation to the baby’s presumed death. Thoma is being charged with one felony count of abusing a corpse, according to court documents.
(Webster County Jail via AP)

The mother told Stringer that the baby was born alive and was moving her body parts. 

Originally, according to the court documents, Blaha was going to give the baby to her sister and let her adopt. The couple, however, feared that the baby’s crying would spark attention from neighbors and police and decided to hold the infant inside a filled bathtub to drown, the documents states.

“Thoma and Blaha have both confirmed … that once Kayleen was born, Thoma cut the umbilical cord with a pair of scissors that was present within their apartment and shortly thereafter cut additional sections of the cord to be kept to remember the baby,” Stringer said, according to the affidavit.

When officials searched the apartment, an apparent piece of an umbilical cord or placental remains was found in a dresser drawer.

AUTHORITIES BEGIN SEARCH FOR REMAINS AT SITE OF SUSPECTED IOWA KILLINGS

Blaha and Thoma exchanged texts which state that the baby’s body was dumped in a wooded area, however law enforcement didn’t find the infant’s remains in the said area, the affidavit states.

Thoma also told police that he buried the baby in a specific area, but officials didn’t find the body after an excavation.

The father of the baby, Thoma, was also questioned by Stringer, who said that he admitted drowning the baby after fears that police would find meth in the infant’s system and take custody of the 2-year-old child.

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Blaha also told Stringer that she and Thoma initially attempted to cause a miscarriage, according to the affidavit.

Story County Public Defender Paul Rounds, who is representing Thoma, said that his client will plead not guilty.

The couple is being held on bonds of $1 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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