An Iowa mother is charged with first-degree murder after allegedly admitting she threw her 5-week-old daughter down in a fit of frustration, causing the infant to smash her skull on a coffee table, PEOPLE confirms.
The mother initially blamed her 2-year-old child for the injuries, a search warrant obtained by local station KCRG-TV9 and other outlets alleges.
Alicia Marie Rios, 28, of Elgin, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of child endangerment causing death, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
On Aug. 21, at 12:45 p.m., Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputies and paramedics responded to a 911 call from Rios saying her 5-week-old baby girl was having trouble breathing, the sheriff’s office said in its statement.
Rios said her infant daughter, identified as Lydia Rios, was sleeping in the car seat when Rios’s 2-year-old child dropped a toy on her head, according the search warrant, which was also obtained by the Des Moines Register.
The deputy who responded to the home found the infant on the ground and Rios “kneeling on the ground crying hysterically,” the search warrant says.
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The infant was hospitalized but was taken off life support four days later on Aug. 25, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports. She died the next day, according to the sheriff’s office statement.
An autopsy determined she died of blunt trauma to the head, the Courier reports.
Injuries Raised Suspicions of Hospital Staff
On Aug. 22, hospital staff members told the sheriff’s office that the infant’s injuries seemed suspicious and that they were calling the Department of Human Services, KCRG-TV9 reports.
The infant had “several skull fractures, two brain bleeds and was in a coma,” KCRG-TV9 reports.
Doctors told authorities the injuries weren’t consistent with Rios’ initial account, court records show, the Courier reports.
During an interview with investigators, Rios allegedly admitted she had thrown Lydia down because she was frustrated, and the child struck her head on a living room coffee table, the Register reports.
Rios is being held at the Fayette County Jail. She has not yet entered a plea. PEOPLE’s atempts to reach her public defender for comment were not immediately successful.
She faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.