Celeste Christian’s son wasn’t dead when she posted about making funeral plans.
As CBS 2 reports, the 21-year-old mother from Chicago posted on Facebook that her 3-year-old son had died and that she was in the midst of planning his memorial service. At the time, however, the boy was alive and well.
It wasn’t until a few days later that Christian allegedly tried to drown the boy.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the boy’s father dropped their son off at Christian’s house on the evening of September 23. Christian claimed that the young boy had wet himself and that she put him in the bathtub. She told officers she left her son in the bathtub for five or 10 minutes while she tended to her 2-year-old daughter.
When she heard splashing, Christian claimed she returned to the bathroom to find the boy limp in the tub with foam coming from his nose and mouth. She called 911 to report the drowning, saying she didn’t know CPR.
While paramedics worked to revive the child, the hospital where he would be treated received a strange phone call. An hour before the boy arrived at the University of Chicago Medical Center, a doctor got a call from Gift of Hope, an organ donation organization. The caller reportedly asked if the boy had arrived yet but would not reveal who told them the boy was expected.
Later, spokespersons for Gift of Hope denied that anyone from their organization had called the hospital, adding that the hospital usually calls them about possible donations, not the family.
Chicago police soon learned about Christian’s Facebook post from the boy’s father (his sister had taken screenshots of it) and arrested Christian. Police now say the boy’s near-drowning was no accident and that he was intentionally held underwater.
The boy was treated at the hospital for asphyxiation and water in his lungs. He is now off the ventilator and able to talk. His sister is currently in the care of a relative, but both children will be taken into state custody.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) had opened three previous investigations of Christian, all based on domestic violence involving a man. However, none of those investigations found evidence of physical harm to a child. The agency has now opened another investigation based on “inadequate supervision,” “torture,” and “substantial risk of physical injury.”
Christian is currently being held without bail on charges of attempted murder.