Miami woman found insane in death of toddler, now victim of homicide

PICHER, Ok. – An Ottawa County woman, found insane in the 2003 drowning death of her 17-month-old son, was found dead, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation confirmed on Tuesday.

Tony Elizabeth Torres, 47, also known as Toni Elizabeth Moran, of Miami was found Monday in Picher. 

“She appears to be a victim of a homicide,” said Brook Arbeitman, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation public information officer. 

The manner of death or the weapon used wasn’t released, she said.

Torres’ toddler son, Alex, 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 Wayne McKibben, who was 10 at the time, was found sitting on an opposite side of the river screaming for help.

Brandon died Aug. 9, 2010 after being electrocuted.

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.

In 2004, Torres was declared 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 was allowed to leave a mental hospital in 2011 after it was ruled she was not a danger to society.

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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