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Aunt charged with attempted murder, accused of pushing 3-year-old boy into Lake Michigan near Navy Pier

Charges filed against aunt of boy rescued from Lake Michigan
Charges filed against aunt of boy rescued from Lake Michigan 01:35

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Des Plaines woman has been charged with pushing her 3-year-old nephew into Lake Michigan off of Navy Pier on Monday, leaving him in critical condition.

Victoria Moreno, 34, has been charged with one count each of attempted murder and aggravated battery to a child. She is scheduled to appear in bond court Wednesday afternoon.

Victoria Moreno Chicago Police

Police said Moreno pushed her 3-year-old nephew into the water at Navy Pier on Monday afternoon, and made no attempt to rescue him.

Sources said the boy struggled for nearly 20 minutes before he was rescued by Fire Department divers.

The young boy remained in critical condition at Lurie Children's Hospital Tuesday night.

Witness describes seeing 3-year-old boy floating in Lake Michigan 02:40

CBS 2's Charlie De Mar spoke Tuesday with a woman who was at Navy Pier and witnessed the horror. The woman, Ashton King, said she saw the boy floating and immediately jumped into action while the aunt allegedly stood by and watched. 

King started the day on a boat tour at Navy Pier with a friend. But she quickly found herself in the middle of crime scene.

A shot from Chopper 2 Monday afternoon showed King standing alongside divers and police - who rushed to try and save the 3-year-old boy who sources says was intentionally pushed into the water by his aunt.

King: "We looked at what she was looking at, and we saw a little boy floating on his back."

De Mar: "Was the woman doing anything to try and help save this boy?"

King: "No, nothing, zero. It was the most bizarre thing I've ever experienced in my life."

King said the picture below shows the aunt standing by idly - watching as her nephew is pulled from the water.

Supplied to CBS

King added that the aunt never showed any concern or panic. 

"The red flags were there. She was acting very weird," King said. "I did end up telling the officer, I said: 'Listen,' I said, 'she was the only one here when we got here. She's just been acting off – weird. Look, I just don't know if she's off. Something is not right."

In radio transmissions right after the boy was rescued, a police officer was heard saying: "I have the aunt in my possession right now. She was on scene the whole time."

Sources say Navy Pier surveillance video shows the aunt pushing the boy in the water. We have not seen the video.

The Chicago Fire Department has determined the boy went into the water at 1:23 p.m. Monday. They arrived at 1:32 p.m., had divers in the water by 1:35 p.m., and pulled the boy from the lake at 1:42 p.m.

"Just help. If you see something, just act," King said. "I will never be able to unsee what I saw."

The young boy is still fighting for his life at Lurie Children's Hospital.

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