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Arrests made in connection to missing newborn, Fort Dodge police say

The newborn's body still has not been found as of Wednesday, Dec. 7, according to Fort Dodge police.

FORT DODGE, Iowa — EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video originally aired Nov. 30, 2022, before any arrests were made in the case.

Two people have been arrested and charged for first degree murder after a newborn infant was allegedly killed and moved from the birthplace in Fort Dodge on Nov. 22, according to a press release.

Fort Dodge residents 31‐year‐old Brandon Thoma and 24‐year‐old Taylor Blaha were arrested after weeks of investigation. Fort Dodge police have not confirmed whether they are the parents of the newborn.

Thoma has also been charged with abuse of a corpse, a class C felony. Both are being held on $1 million cash bonds for the murder charges. Thoma also faces a $50,000 bond for his second charge.

Police say they are continuing to investigate and follow any credible leads. CrimeStoppers is offering a $1,500 reward for information that leads to finding the newborn's body.

Local 5 will update this story as more information becomes available. Download the We Are Iowa app or subscribe to Local 5's "5 Things to Know" email newsletter for the latest.


Fort Dodge police are searching for a missing newborn that is believed to be dead and was allegedly moved from the birthplace, a Tuesday press release states.

According to a Nov. 29 press release, the Webster County Telecommunications Center received information on Tuesday, Nov. 22 that a woman had given birth to a child at her home. Allegedly, the newborn later died, and the baby's body was moved from the home.

"Anytime we have something like this, then we immediately respond to it, start trying to gather as much facts as we can. And as we go, we start to create a timeline, you know, try to locate where maybe this potentially happened," Capt. Dennis Quinn with the Fort Dodge Police Department told Local 5 Wednesday, Nov. 30. 

While they have been unable to locate a body during their search so far, police are treating the case as a homicide investigation.

"After speaking to witnesses and everything else, you know, that we've been trying to investigate from the birth to the death to the moving of the newborn." Quinn said. "So, that's just the direction that the investigation has led us."

Investigators are following up on leads, talking to witnesses and searching numerous locations for the infant. Evidence in the case has been submitted to the state's crime lab.

Any potential criminal charges are on hold until that evidence has been processed.

Crime Stoppers has offered up to a $1,500 reward for information on the case. 

If you have video surveillance within the area bordered by Central Avenue, East Kenyon Road, South 7th Street and South 12th Street, you are asked to contact police. 

"The smallest lead for somebody may turn out to be something that was great for the case. So, you know, don't feel like it's too small," Quinn said. "Something you've seen, something you heard, whether you overheard someone talking or if you have something on video, you know, just reach out to us."

No potential motive or further details about the investigation have been released at this time. 

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