Mother Posts on Social Media that 3-Year-Old Son Was Dead Days Before She Tried to Drown Him

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A Chicago mother who allegedly tried to drown her child in a bathtub has been arrested by police. Celeste T. Christian, 21, was charged with attempted murder of her 3-year-old son and is being held without bail.

The boy, who survived, is being cared for at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he is in critical condition. According to the Chicago Tribune, police alleged that the boy was held underwater. The boy is being treated for asphyxiation and arrived at hospital with water in his lungs.

Police were called to the home of Christian and her two children—the boy and a 2-year-old girl—at around 9:30 last Sunday night. The boy had reportedly been dropped off at home by his father.

Christian claimed she'd decided to give her son a bath because he was brought back with a dirty diaper. While tending to her daughter, Christian said, she left the boy alone and returned 10 minutes later, after hearing splashing. She claimed she found her son "limp."

Speaking to police, the father said Christian had posted on social media about her son dying days before she tried to drown him. He said Christian had even made inquiries about a funeral for the boy, despite his being alive.

Police are investigating Christian for "torture" and "substantial risk of physical injury or environment injurious to health and welfare." According to a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family, Christian had been investigated three times for domestic abuse, in 2016 and 2017.

"She was indicated in all three investigations for posing a risk of harm to her children, but in none of the cases was there a finding of actual physical harm to a child," spokesman Neil Skene told the Chicago Tribune. Christian's daughter is now being looked after by an aunt.

In a further twist, officials from A Gift of Hope—an organ donor organization—had contacted the hospital asking if the boy had arrived. It is not known how the group was aware the boy was being brought in. Spokeswoman Shauna Schude declined to comment to the Chicago Tribune.

A person dies in a bathtub, hot tub or spa almost every day in America, according to a Scripps Howard News Service study of federal mortality records from 1999 to 2003. About 90 children die each year, with the majority of deaths occuring in the bath. Young children can drown in just two inches of water.

On Sunday, in Alabama, a father of a 5-month-old boy left the room while his son was in the bath. He returned later to find the child had drowned.

"I can't imagine how hard this is going to be on that child's family," said Jefferson County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Randy Christian. "This will be heart-wrenching for all involved. God be with them."

Last month, a 4-month-old boy in Chicago drowned after his mother fell asleep during a bath. At around 11 p.m. on August 25, the mother said she awoke to find her baby had drowned. The boy was taken to Trinity Hospital and pronounced dead, according to ABC 7.