By Dave Andrusko
The headline is enough to almost make you physically ill: “Baby found in Bloomington [Illinois] shelter’s toilet; mom charged with attempted murder.” The consolation is that the newborn baby has miraculously survived the actions of her mother.
Tonya McKee was charged with one count of attempted murder Tuesday, according to the Bloomington Pantagraph. The details of the alleged murder are contained in a probable-cause statement that was read in court by Assistant State’s Attorney Sheila Duncan.
A resident of Home Sweet Home Ministries’ Billy Shelper Center, McKee called 911 around 4 a.m. Sunday. She said she had aborted a baby in a bathroom of the shelter.
Duncan said police found McKee in the shower of a blood-soaked bathroom. According to reporter Edith Brady-Lunny’s story,
“McKee told officers she had ‘just aborted her baby’ but did not respond to their questions about where the baby was located, said Duncan. The infant was found submerged in a toilet nearly full of bloody water.
“’When the officer removed the baby from the toilet, the toilet emptied as if someone had tried to flush it but the baby itself had clogged the toilet,’ said the statement.
“According to police, McKee gave several explanations for allegedly putting her baby in the toilet and leaving her there for up to 10 minutes, including that she was unaware she had given birth. She later said she knew the baby had been born ‘but she left the baby in the toilet because there was a lot of blood on the baby and she didn’t want to touch the blood or the baby,’ said police.
“McKee also claimed she didn’t know the baby was in the toilet because she wasn’t wearing her glasses, according to police.”
The good news is that the baby is in stable condition at a Peoria hospital.