Pennsylvania woman charged with fatally poisoning boyfriend's baby girl

 January 15, 2024

The poisoning death of an 18-month-old baby shocked the nation last week.

According to the New York Post, a Pennsylvania woman was recently charged with the fatal poisoning of her boyfriend's 18-month-old child, Iris Alfera.

The woman, Aleisia Owens, 20, reportedly researched the harmful effects that would occur when feeding a child toxic and dangerous materials.

Authorities noted that she allegedly fed the baby small button batteries, screws, and acetone.

The coroner's autopsy revealed that the child had died as a result of the toxic and dangerous materials and found significant and fatal amounts of acetone in the baby's blood.

The Post noted:

Owens had been living with Iris’ father, Bailey Jacoby, when he left the house to go to the store on June 25, 2023. Jacoby, who had visitation rights with Iris, then received a call from Owens that something was wrong with his daughter.

Naturally, the father rushed home to see what had happened and found the baby unresponsive. He called 911 quickly, according to the report.

The child was rushed to UPMC Jameson Hospital in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Given the severity of the case and the critical status of the child's health, Iris was airlifted to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

After extensive attempts to keep the child alive, Iris ultimately perished four days later due to organ failure.

"The details of this case are heartbreaking. It is hard to fathom someone taking deliberate steps to harm a completely helpless child, then misled investigators about what happened," said New Castle Police Chief Robert Salem. He was referencing the false story the woman told her boyfriend and authorities after she made the initial call that something was wrong.

Chief Salem added, "The investigation shows that, for months, the defendant conducted meticulous research on how certain substances harm children. She then allegedly acted on her findings."

The father of the child was not arrested or charged. The chief said, "There was nothing throughout the investigation to show that he had any knowledge or involvement about what happened to the baby. He was questioned multiple times and was cooperative."

As far as charges, the Post noted:

Owens faces a homicide charge and was also slapped with attempted homicide, aggravated assault of a child, endangering the welfare of a child, and “other offenses regarding conduct leading to the baby’s death and other acts of abuse in months prior.”