Josiah Brown: Boy killed after being pushed off Navy Pier gives another child second chance with donated heart
CHICAGO - A young boy, who was allegedly pushed off Navy Pier by his aunt, is giving another child a second chance at life.
Josiah Brown's father posted an emotional update on Instagram this week.
The caption read:
"Like father like son. While I'm in the hospital waiting on a heart transplant, my son's heart is going to a two-year-old baby boy in Canada."
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The boy had to be retrieved from the bottom of Lake Michigan by Chicago Fire Department officials after he was allegedly pushed into the water on Sept. 19 by his aunt, Victoria Moreno.
Prosecutors say Moreno waited until no one at the pier was looking and pushed the boy into the water, then watched him drown.
Divers found Josiah about 30 minutes later, Cook County prosecutors said.
He was rushed to a Lurie Children's Hospital where he was in very critical condition all week. Prosecutors said he had a swollen brain, bleeding in lungs, seizures, and needed a heart infusion because his heart was depressed.
Moreno initially told responding officers that she didn't know the boy, then claimed she was holding the boy’s shirt and let go of the boy's shirt because he was "acting up," according to a police report and a source with knowledge of the investigation.
On the day of the incident, the victim's mother left the boy at his grandmother's house where Moreno also lives.
While another aunt went to wake up her kids and his grandmother went to change, Moreno stole the family's truck and drove the boy into the city from Des Plaines, according to prosecutors. The defendant is not allowed to drive due to the medications she's on. She has a history of mental illness and has taken her nieces without permission before.
Moreno "stole the keys" to the family’s truck and "snuck out of the residence without anyone knowing that she had left," prosecutors said. The other aunt no longer heard the boy talking "and became alarmed," prosecutors said. That’s when she noticed Moreno and the boy were gone and a truck was missing.
Neighbors of the family said the boy’s father has a medical issue that required him to be taken out by stretchers and ambulances several times over the last few weeks. The father, Dantrell Brown, has posted on social media about his diagnosis of congestive heart failure three years ago at age 22, just days before the birth of his son.
Josiah was laid to rest Wednesday night.