HiAleisia Owens, a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania, was arrested on Thursday, accused of criminal homicide in connection with the poisoning death of her boyfriend’s 1-year-old daughter, Iris Alfera, in June.
According to a report by CBC News on Friday, January 12, 2024, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office stated that Iris died from fatal levels of acetone in her blood.
Prosecutors allege that Owens conducted online searches about the harm caused by water beads and button-shaped batteries in children before Iris ingested them along with a metal screw.
Iris, found unresponsive on June 25 at her father’s New Castle residence where Owens also lived, succumbed to the poisoning in the hospital four days later.
Further investigation revealed Owens had been researching harmful household products since February, exploring topics like “beauty products that are poisonous to kids” and “medications leading to accidental poisoning deaths in children.”
In addition to criminal homicide, Owens faces charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault of a child, and endangering the welfare of a child. It remains unclear whether Owens has legal representation or has entered a plea. Prosecutors confirm she has been denied bail.
A GoFundMe campinitiated in June for Iris’ family has garnered over $17,000 in support.
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.