OAN’s Abril Elfi
4:55 PM – Monday, August 21, 2023
A 24-year-old Iowa mother has been sentenced to 50 years behind bars after admitting to drowning her infant in order to hide that she was using methamphetamines, referred to as meth.
On Friday, Taylor Blaha pleaded guilty to murdering her daughter, Kayleen Lee Blaha, in order to hide the fact that there was meth in the child’s system. She had given birth to the baby girl just hours before the violent act.
According to court filings, Blaha and Kayleen’s father, 31-year-old Brandon Thoma, allegedly wrapped the newborn in trash bags and placed her in a backpack after she was killed.
Thoma was reportedly seen leaving their apartment with a backpack containing a heavy object and returning 20 minutes later with an empty bag, as seen in surveillance footage.
Blaha stated that she was ingesting meth at the time of her delivery.
She also stated that both she and the child’s father were afraid that if it became known to child services that she was using hard drugs, they would have lost custody of their other 2-year-old son.
“Brandon Thoma convinced me that if DHS (Department of Homeland Security) found out about my meth use, they would take my son from me, and I would never see him again,” she said. “He convinced me that the only way out of this was to drown the baby in the bathtub.”
She also stated that since her and Thoma did not want to raise another child together, a family member was going to adopt Kayleen later on.
A judge in Iowa sentenced Blaha to 50 years in prison and she will be forced to serve at least 70% of the sentencing, which amounts to 35 years, before any possibility of parole.
Thoma had initially been charged with first-degree murder but accepted a plea deal that downgraded the charge against him. He is set to be sentenced on September 1st for endangerment resulting in death, as well as abuse of a corpse.
The body of the infant has not yet been located.
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