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Toni Elizabeth TORRES





Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, confessed to authorities when she was arrested, "God told me to do it."
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: August 21, 2003
Date of arrest: Next day
Date of birth: 1974
Victim profile: Her 17 month-old son, Alex Torres
Method of murder: Drowning
Location: Ottawa County, Oklahoma, USA
Status: Found insane in 2004

August 21, 2003: Toni Elizabeth Torres, 29, of Quapaw, Oklahoma; Torres went to a remote area and climbed into Spring River holding her 17 month-old son, Alex, and holding onto the hand of her 10-yr-old son, Christopher. As she went deeper into the water, she let go of Christopher's hand but he managed to get back to the shore and started screaming.

A fisherman who was on the river at the time called 9-1-1 after hearing the children scream. Torres continued to swim into the middle of the channel. There she pushed the toddler away, watched him briefly bob up and down and then swam to the opposite shore. She had said she killed the infant because God told her to let her son go in the water. Torres was under a psychiatrist’s care at the time. A blood test revealed the presence of Diazepam, an anti-anxiety medication, according to authorities.


Mother found insane in toddler's death to be released to halfway house

By Sheila Stogsdill -

August 12, 2011

MIAMI, Okla. -- An Ottawa County woman, found insane in the 2003 drowning death of her 17-month-old son, will be allowed to leave a mental hospital, a prosecutor said Friday.

District Judge Robert Haney signed the order Thursday ruling that Tony Elizabeth Torres, 37, was not a danger to society.

"She is still under the control of the state Department of Mental Health," Haney said Friday. "She is not allowed to be unsupervised with children."

Torres is no longer being housed at the Oklahoma Forensic Center, said Becky Baird, Ottawa County assistant district attorney. She will be sent to a residential halfway home outside of Ottawa County.

Alex Torres' body was found submerged in about 20 feet of water in Spring River, about four miles north of Twin Bridges State Park in northern Ottawa County on Aug. 21, 2003. Tony Torres was found on a riverbank, and her son Brandon, who was 10 at the time, was found sitting on an opposite side of the river screaming for help.

According to Tony Torres' statement to investigators, the toddler was clinging to her as she waded across the river. She pushed the child away to save herself, making no effort to save him from drowning.

This is not the first time Torres has appeared before Haney requesting a release.

Court records show Torres has requested to be released on day passes or similar situations on four occasions since November 2006. In all four requests, including the request dated June 8, the state has objected to her release, District Attorney Eddie Wyant said.

Haney did allow Torres out to attend the August 2010 funeral of her son Brandon Wayne McKibben, 17, who died after being electrocuted.

In 2004 Haney declared the Quapaw woman insane on a first-degree murder charge. Torres, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, confessed to authorities when she was arrested, "God told me to do it."

Torres has a master's degree in psychology, court records show, and once worked as a counselor for troubled youths.

On a county intake sheet, filled out Aug. 23, 2003, the woman wrote: “God shed his blood for me. All they do is ask me, and I will tell them the truth, even if it sounds crazy. I won't let people corrupt my spirit with the law. Amen.”

Under the space for a defendant's name, she wrote: “God.” Under legal guardian, she wrote: “God”.



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