Milwaukee mother charged with homicide in death of 14-month-old

CREATED Mar 11, 2014 - UPDATED: Mar 11, 2014

  • Print
  • Play
  • Play
  • Image by Milwaukee County Jail

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee mother has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of her 14-month-old son.

A criminal complaint released Tuesday afternoon alleges that Nora Zylstra, 36, suffocated her toddler, Leonidas, with a blanket and pillow.

Zylstra was arrested Sunday afternoon after officers responded to a welfare check request. Upon entering the home, officers found Zylstra moaning on her bed, and Leonidas unconscious and not breathing.

In a statement Zylstra told police she was upset the toddler's father moved out of the house and did not want her son to "come from a broken home" and "deal with the pain and suffering."

She told police she began to think about her financial responsibilities and began questioning herself as a mother.

After taking a mixture of Percocet, Zanax and Atenolol pills, the complaint said that she placed her son in his crib and suffocated him with pillow on top of a blanket.

The complaint said that Zylstra then dressed him in his Christmas outfit.

Afterward, she told police she got into her bathtub, placing a toaster in the water, but nothing happened. The complaint said she then went to bed.

An autopsy confirmed Leonidas' death was caused by suffocation.