A 24-year-old mother from Iowa has been sentenced to 50 years in prison she admitted to drowning her newborn daughter in a bathtub. Taylor Blaha pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, revealing that she took this drastic action to conceal the fact that the infant had methamphetamine in her system. Blaha’s boyfriend, Brandon Thoma, also pleaded guilty to child endangerment resulting in death and abuse of a corpse. The couple submerged their baby in a half-filled bathtub to silence her cries before disposing of her body.
Blaha requested immediate sentencing and was ordered to serve 70% of her 50-year sentence, equivalent to 35 years, before becoming eligible for parole. Thoma, 31, had previously pleaded guilty to his charges and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 1. The tragic events unfolded in November 2022 when Blaha gave birth while under the influence of methamphetamine. Both parents feared that if child services discovered their drug use, they would lose custody of their 2-year-old son.
According to court records, Blaha initially planned to have a family member adopt their second child, as she and Thoma had no intention of raising her together. Disturbingly, their cellphones contained searches on inducing a miscarriage. When Blaha went into labor, she asked Thoma to give her methamphetamine to alleviate the pain. Baby Kayleen was born alive and showed signs of life, but her cries raised concerns that neighbors might alert the authorities. Fearing the loss of their son, the couple made the horrifying decision to drown their newborn.
Blaha described in court how Thoma assisted her in submerging their baby underwater, even encouraging her to continue when she tried to stop. After the drowning, they cut a section of the baby’s umbilical cord as a memento. The couple then wrapped the lifeless body in black garbage bags and placed it in a backpack. Security footage captured Thoma leaving the apartment with the backpack, which he returned with empty. Despite extensive searches, the baby’s remains have not been found.