Illinois police say a mother lied about her 3-year-old son being dead via a Facebook post, and then attempted to drown him in a bathtub last Sunday.
Celeste Christian, 21, of Chicago, is facing attempted murder charges after authorities said “someone held the boy underwater,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Officials said the tot survived the attempt on his life. He was treated at the University of Chicago Medical Center for asphyxiation and fluid in his lungs, but was taken off of a ventilator and is able to speak.
Christian allegedly claimed that she left her son alone in a bathtub last Sunday. Upon returning, she said she found “him limp and floating on top of the water,” the Chicago Police Department said in a statement obtained by ABC News.
Only days prior, the boy’s father said Christian posted to Facebook that her son was dead and that she wanted to make funeral plans, Chicago Police spokeswoman Laura Amezaga said.
In an eerie twist, a doctor at the hospital the boy was treated at said that only an hour before the toddler arrived, the medical center had received a call from the Gift of Hope, an organization that handles tissue and organ donations. Police say the person who called inquired as to whether the boy was there yet, but would not divulge on who told them he would be there.
Gift of Hope spokeswoman Therese Michels told the Chicago Tribune that “no one from their organization called the hospital.”
Another spokesperson explained that “usual procedure is for a hospital to contact the organization about an available donor, not the family.”
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) reported that there were at least three prior investigations that involved Christian between October 2016 and December 2017. All of the incidents reportedly surrounded domestic violence with a male subject.
“She was indicated in all three investigations for posing a risk of harm to her children, but in none of the cases was there a finding of actual physical harm to a child,’’ a DCFS spokesperson, Neil Skene, stated in an email to the newspaper..
A new investigation opened Monday by the agency alleges “torture,” and “substantial risk of physical injury or environment injurious to health and welfare,” Skene added.
DCFS said it plan to take protective custody of both the victim and his little sister.
Christian was subsequently arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a child under 13. She is currently behind bars without bond, and is due in court October 1.
[Feature photo: Celeste Christian/Chicago Police Department]