Parents of missing newborn arrested
Both are charged with murder
The investigation into a missing deceased newborn has led to the infant’s parents being arrested and charged for its murder on Wednesday.
According to the Fort Dodge Police Department, 31-year-old Brandon D. Thoma and 24-year-old Taylor K. Blaha, both Fort Dodge residents, have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder, a Class A felony. Thoma has also been charged with abuse of a corpse, a Class C felony.
FDPD Capt. Dennis Quinn confirmed to The Messenger that Thoma and Blaha are the newborn’s parents.
The FDPD began its investigation into the newborn’s homicide just before Thanksgiving, after the Webster County Telecommunications Center received a tip that a female had recently given birth to a child at home and that the infant was deceased and later moved to another location.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was in Fort Dodge the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for an apparent search of the Wahkonsa Apartments at 927 Central Ave. in connection with this investigation.
Over the last several weeks, investigators have continued to follow up on credible leads, speak with witnesses and search several sites throughout the Fort Dodge area. Last weekend, the search for the infant’s remains was focused at the North Central Iowa Regional Solid Waste Agency’s landfill.
As of Wednesday evening, the newborn’s remains have not yet been located.
The Fort Dodge Police Department is asking for the public’s help to collect video evidence and is asking anyone with video surveillance within the area that is bordered by Central Avenue and East Kenyon Road to the north and south, and South Seventh Street and South 12th Street to the west and east, to contact law enforcement at 515-573-2323.
Anonymous tips can also be submitted through Webster County Crime Stoppers by texting “LEC” and the tip to 274-637, or by calling 515-573-1444.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,500 reward for information that leads to the recovery of the infant’s remains.
Blaha and Thoma will have their initial appearance in Webster County Magistrate Court this morning.
First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole, if convicted. The maximum sentence for abuse of a corpse is 10 years in prison.
Thoma is being held on a $1,050,000 cash-only bond and Blaha is being held on $1,000,000 cash-only bond.