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Iowa couple drowns newborn after failing to force miscarriage

WEBSTER COUNTY JAIL
WEBSTER COUNTY JAIL

(FORT DODGE, IA) — A couple in Iowa is facing murder charges after they allegedly drowned their newborn in the bathtub of their apartment moments after she was born.
The incident occurred on November 16th at an apartment complex in the 900 block of Central Avenue.
Authorities began investigating 31-year-old Brandon D. Thoma and 24-year-old Taylor K. Blaha after Blaha visited a hospital and told a caseworker that she “gave birth to a baby at her residence and that it had been buried at an undisclosed location.”
According to the report, Blaha told the hospital that she found out that she was pregnant in April and after trying unsuccessfully to cause a miscarriage, planned to give the child to Blaha’s sister.
In a separate interview, the couple reported that once the baby was born, they decided to drown the infant because Blaha took methamphetamine to ease her pain during birth. The couple feared that their 2-year-old son would be taken away from them once authorities found the drugs in the infant and the mother’s systems.
“Blaha went on to explain that in order to stop the crying the two placed Kayleen in the bathtub, which was about half full of water, and placed both of their hands on the baby’s chest, forcing her underwater, ultimately killing her,” the affidavit states. “Blaha also explained that Thoma demonstrated to her how to do this. Blaha advised that once the baby was held underwater, Thoma removed the baby from the bathtub and sat her outside of the tub before ultimately placing her in a plastic storage container, wrapping her in multiple layers of trash bags, and then placing her inside of a black backpack that he carried her out of the apartment in.”
After drowning the infant, the couple saved parts of the umbilical cord to remember the child and gave her a name.
Investigators say that despite being told where Thoma took the body and having Thoma take them to the area, the body has not been found.
Thoma and Blaha were arrested on Wednesday for the presumed death of the infant. Thoma is also facing an additional felony count of abusing a corpse.
Both were ordered held Thursday on bonds of $1 million, with preliminary hearings set for Dec. 15.