Breaking News
More () »

Suspects in Fort Dodge infant homicide plead not guilty

Brandon Thoma and Taylor Blaha entered written pleas of not guilty shortly before their scheduled arraignments Tuesday afternoon.

FORT DODGE, Iowa — More than a month after Fort Dodge police officers say they were notified of a deceased infant in the town, the search for a body continues.

After looking everywhere from the woods near Kenyon Road Bridge to a local landfill, they are still coming up empty.

"We haven't gotten any good intel on certain areas where we need to search. We did have one small wooded area that we searched, that we went searched it with a couple of detectives, but that didn't turn out to be anything," said Capt. Dennis Quinn with the Fort Dodge Police.

Brandon Thoma and Taylor Blaha were arrested in early December for their alleged involvement in the death of that infant. 

According to court documents, Blaha allegedly gave birth to a baby girl inside her apartment on Wednesday, Nov. 16 before she and Thoma drowned the baby in a bathtub due to fears that the infant's crying would alert neighbors and law enforcement. Both were charged with first-degree murder; Thoma is also charged with abuse of a corpse for allegedly disposing of the infant's body.

Both suspects filed written pleas of not guilty ahead of their scheduled arraignment Tuesday afternoon.

Fort Dodge police said that while they are still working to locate the infant, progress has been limited as tips from the community have slowed down. Adding to the issue: police say they have had to prioritize investigating a homicide from early Christmas morning that killed one person.

"That's obviously now taken a lot of our attention as well. But we are we're still actively working on the case. We got to kind of shift resources a little bit," Quinn said.

Pending trial, Thoma is being held at the Webster County Jail; Blaha is currently held at the Hamilton County Jail.

► Download the We Are Iowa app
► Sign up for Local 5's "5 Things to Know" email newsletter
Subscribe to Local 5 News on YouTube

Before You Leave, Check This Out