MILWAUKEE -- A Wisconsin woman has been charged with suffocating three babies more than 30 years ago - cases that investigators initially attributed to sudden infant death syndrome, prosecutors said Friday. The cases were reopened in March 2015 after Nancy Moronez's daughter told police her mother confessed to suffocating Moronez's son with a garbage bag in 1980, prosecutors say. The two other infants died in 1984 and 1985 while Moronez was their baby-sitter.
Moronez, 60, told a Milwaukee police detective this week she was responsible for the three deaths and said at one point that she "can't take kids that constantly cry," prosecutors said in charging documents that provide chilling details. She faces three counts of second-degree murder.
She didn't dispute what her daughter told police, but said she actually killed her son by drowning him, putting him in bath water until his face turned purple. Moronez said she "put him in the water and saw bubbles coming out of his nose and mouth" and that she "held him down and felt him wriggle a little under the water," charging documents say. Her son was 18 days old.
Moronez made her initial court appearance Friday morning and remains in custody without bond. She does not have an attorney listed.
After her daughter went to police, investigators learned Moronez was also connected to two other cases where infants were thought to have died from SIDS.
Four years after her son's death, prosecutors said Moronez was babysitting a 6-month-old boy after his parents answered an ad in the newspaper. At the time, police said Moronez told investigators she noticed the baby was unresponsive less than an hour after she put him to sleep face down on a water bed. She told police she became concerned when she saw the baby's face turn purple the way her son's did when he died.
A coroner concluded the death was due to SIDS, but in her interview with police this week Moronez said she used a blanket and held it "real tight against the face" of the baby.
A year later, Moronez was babysitting an 11-week-old girl when firefighters responded to a call for help. One of the firefighters had seen Moronez the year before.
"Do you remember me?" the firefighter said Moronez asked him.
"Yeah, I remember," he said. Moronez then said, according to the court documents: "I told my husband I didn't want to baby sit anymore."
Again, the medical examiner said the cause of death was SIDS, but Moronez told police she used a blanket and that the baby "kind of moved around her hands" as she suffocated.
Moronez said she didn't use a blanket with her son because she wanted him "to go sooner."
"She further stated that she knew she did wrong, that she is sorry," the charging documents say.
According to CBS affiliate WDJT, the criminal complaint says that that when Moronez's daughter was born she made a promise to God that she would not do anything to her daughter to hurt her if she was crying. Later in the interview, Moronez said: "I made a promise, but I broke it."