Two people are facing charges in the death of a newborn baby in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The parents did not want the child and planned to let their sister adopt her.
The Webster County Sheriff’s Office said Taylor K. Blaha, 24 gave birth to a baby girl in the bathroom of her Fort Dodge apartment on November 16. She shared this apartment with Brandon D. Thoma, 31.
Authorities said the couple worried their neighbors would call the police if they heard the baby crying. Their worry came from Blaha’s usage of meth while she gave birth, which then entered the baby’s system.
Investigators said they used surveillance video systems to track Thoma leaving the apartment with a backpack containing a rectangular shape. He later returned with his backpack completely empty.
Thoma was the father of the deceased baby, as well as Blaha’s 2-year-old child. Blaha said she and Thoma named the newborn baby Kayleen Lee, and that they originally planned to give the baby to her sister to adopt.
Police said Thoma and Blaha both confirmed that Thoma cut the umbilical cord of their baby after giving birth. The couple kept the remains of the umbilical chord and the placenta inside of a dresser drawer.
The newborn’s father admitted to drowning the newborn in their apartment’s bathtub. Thoma said he committed this murder because he feared police would discover meth in her system and take their other child, their 2-year-old, away from them.
Law enforcement said Thoma discarded baby Kayleen’s body in a wooded area near the Kenyon Road Bridge, but have not been able to locate the remains despite multiple attempts.
Investigators seized the couple’s cell phones, which contained searches for information on how to force a miscarriage.
The Mason City Public Defender’s office has been appointed to represent Blaha, but an attorney has not yet been assigned.