This Mother Researched Ways to Harm Child Before Infant’s Tragic Death, Prosecutors Allege

Emma Grant

In a terrible case from Pennsylvania, a young mother is accused of finding a lot of information on how to poison her boyfriend’s 1-year-old daughter before the child died tragically.

Police say that Alesia Owens, 25, from Altoona, PA, looked up things like “beauty products that are poisonous to kids” and “medications that kill children by accident through poisoning” online in the months before Iris Afera’s death in June 2023.

The criminal charge says that baby Iris died after putting button batteries, a screw, and decorative water beads in her mouth.

Attorney General Michelle A. Henry of Pennsylvania said on January 11 that Owens is being charged with criminal homicide, endangering the safety of children, and aggravated assault in connection with Iris’ death.

Attorneys for the prosecution say Owens planned and organized ways to kill her boyfriend’s young daughter before the child ate the dangerous things.

Owens told police that Iris’ death was just a freak accident when they first asked him about it. The mother said she didn’t know how the batteries, screw, and water beads got into the baby’s crib and thought Iris must have eaten them.

But now officials say Owens was looking into poisons and ways to make the death of a child look like it was an accident in the months before.

According to the criminal complaint, Owens’ online search history reveals extensive research into harming a child. Specific searches allegedly included:

  • “What kind of batteries are poisonous to a kid when swallowed”
  • “What kind of medication could kill an infant if ingested”
  • “Can beauty products be poisonous if consumed by a toddler”
  • “What household cleaners when mixed with certain food is fatal”

Prosecutors say these searches show that someone had bad intentions and was planning to kill Iris before she died. Owens moved into her boyfriend’s house in Altoona, where Iris also lived a few months before the sad death of the child.

Owens’ lawyer says that authorities don’t have any solid proof that his client killed Iris on purpose right now. He said that there were no witnesses who saw Owens actually give the child any dangerous substances. The long list of searches that happened months ago, on the other hand, doesn’t look good for the suspect.

This case is getting worse and worse, which is very upsetting for everyone concerned. The prosecution’s case is giving us more information that makes it look like this was a planned act to kill baby Iris. Through this terrible tragedy, our thoughts go out to the child’s family and friends.

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Emma Grant is a highly regarded legal news expert with a deep understanding of constitutional law and its implications in contemporary society. With her extensive background in legal journalism and analysis, Emma Grant has established herself as a trusted authority on the intersection of law, policy, and society.