New Castle, Pennsylvania – A Pennsylvania woman has been arrested this week and charged with the alleged homicide of her boyfriend’s 18-month-old daughter, Iris Rita Alfera. The woman, Aleisia Owens, is accused of fatally poisoning the child by feeding her batteries, screws, and nail polish remover. The arrest came after an autopsy revealed fatal levels of acetone, a substance found in nail polish remover, in the toddler’s blood. Owens had reportedly researched the harmful effects of these items on children before the killing.
The incident occurred on June 25, 2023, when Iris’s father, Bailey Jacoby, left the house to go to the store. During his absence, he received a distressing call prompting him to rush back home. Upon arrival, he found Iris unresponsive and immediately called for emergency assistance. The toddler was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and was later airlifted to another hospital where she ultimately succumbed to organ failure four days later.
During the investigation, it was discovered that Iris had ingested “water beads,” as well as button-shaped batteries and a metal screw, months prior to her death. These findings added weight to the case against Owens. A search of her phone revealed extensive research on household products that could cause harm or death to children, including water beads, batteries, and nail polish. She had also looked up information on beauty products that are poisonous to children and medications that could lead to accidental poisoning deaths.
Owens’s actions have left the community heartbroken, and Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Michelle Henry, expressed her shock at the deliberate harm inflicted upon a helpless child. Although Iris’s father, Jacoby, had been living with Owens for about a year, there is currently no evidence linking him or anyone else to the child’s death.
Aleisia Owens now faces multiple charges, including homicide, attempted homicide, aggravated assault of a child, and endangering the welfare of a child. She has been held without bond at Lawrence County Jail. The process of seeking justice for Iris will be a lengthy one, but her family is relieved that Owens has been apprehended.
It is a tragic and senseless case that highlights the importance of protecting vulnerable children from harm. The investigation poses questions about the motive behind Owens’s actions and the extent to which she planned and executed the poisoning. As the legal proceedings unfold, the community will be waiting for answers, seeking justice for little Iris Rita Alfera.