It has been reported that a 31-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman drowned their newborn shortly after birth in a bathtub in Iowa.
The couple has been arrested for first-degree murder in the death of Kayleen Lee Blaha, including Brandon Thoma and Taylor Blaha, authorities confirmed on Wednesday.
LawandCrime obtained an affidavit of probable cause regarding Blaha’s meeting with an IDHS employee on Nov. 22 at Unity Point Trinity Regional Medical Center. She is alleged to have given birth at home and then buried the baby at an undisclosed location. An IDHS employee contacted law enforcement.
During an interview, Blaha told detectives that she discovered she was pregnant with Thoma’s child in April 2022. Together, they have a 2-year-old son.
In Fort Dodge, Iowa, Blaha gave birth to a girl in the bathroom of her apartment.
The affidavit said, “She stated that Thoma was in the bedroom of the apartment when she gave birth but that once the baby was born, he came into the bathroom and helped her get from where she was sitting on the toilet to a position sitting inside the bathtub with the baby.”
As reported by Law and Crime, The couple named the baby Kayleen Lee Blaha. She stated that the baby was born alive and crying, and she even moved her arms and legs and opened her eyes.
To ease Blaha’s pain after delivering her baby, Thoma allegedly provided her with methamphetamine. According to her, they had planned on letting Blaha’s sister adopt her. To remember the baby, Thoma cut sections of the umbilical cord using scissors.
As most babies do, she started to cry. Blaha and Thoma began to worry their neighbors would hear Kayleen crying and notify law enforcement. They were concerned about losing custody of their 2-year-old if law enforcement found methamphetamine in the baby’s system.
According to the affidavit, they made sure to stop the crying for good. “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.”
After investigators executed a search warrant at Thoma’s apartment, Kayleen’s body was never found. They found what they believe to be a piece of umbilical cord he kept as a keepsake.
Authorities are searching for the baby’s remains and have offered a reward of $1,500 for any information that leads them to recover her body.
Both parents are currently in pretrial detention. Thoma’s and Blaha’s bonds were each set at $1 million.