The Minnesota mother accused of fatally shooting her 6-year-old son allegedly visited a firing range prior to the kil*ling, so that she could to learn how to use her new gu*n.
Julissa Angelica Genrich Thaler, 28, has been charged with second-degree intentional mur*der in connection with the deat*h of kindergartener Eli Hart.
The allegations against Thaler were revealed on Friday by the Orono Police Department.
A friend of Thaler’s spoke to detectives, and allegedly said that the young mother had expressed an interest in learning how to use a shotg*un.
The friend told police Thaler had purchased a shotg*un in mid-March, the complaint alleges, according to the reports.
The two had visited a g*un range over two days, so she could learn how to use the weapon, the complaint alleges.
Police allege Thaler would conceal the weapon in a gray blanket whenever she left her apartment with it.
A gray blanket was recovered from the trunk of Thaler’s car, where Eli’s body was also discovered.
Thaler’s car was found by Orono police in Mound, Minn., after officers witnessed a woman “driving on one rim and a shattered-out windshield,” Chief Correy Farniok told reporters.
At the time of the stop, police noticed blood and a spent shotgu*n shell inside the vehicle, as well as blood on Thaler’s hand — yet they released her after impounding the car.
A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed Eli’s body along with the shotg*un that authorities say ki*lled him. Police went to Thaler’s apartment and spotted her leaving the area on foot.
She was arrested by police, who allegedly noted the presence of blood in her hair.
Police later tracked the damage to the road caused by the tireless rim on Thaler’s vehicle, and found human remains, a child’s car seat damaged by what police believe was a gun*shot blast, and a backpack along the way.
Police said another unidentified individual — a 27-year-old man — was arrested at the same time, but that he will not face formal charges. Local media reports state that man was the friend who accompanied Thaler to the g*un range for practice.
Custody Battle for Boy
Thaler and Eli’s father were fighting for custody of him.
The boy, who wanted to be a firefighter, was previously in the custody of social services, after Dakota County filed a Child in Need of Protection or Service petition on his behalf back in January 2021.
Eli spent 457 days between county custody and family foster care.
According to a GoFundMe campaign organized to help pay for Eli’s funeral, the boy spent 11 months living with extended family members, but in December 2021, a judge allowed Eli to return to his mother’s care for a home trial.
“Due to many red flags Eli’s mother was showing, Tory tried extremely hard to get custody of Eli,” the fundraiser’s description alleged. “Numerous parties made many statements to CPS, fearing that mom would harm Eli if full custody were returned. Sadly, full custody was returned on May 10, 2022.”
A judge set Thaler’s bail at $2 million.
It wasn’t immediately clear if she had retained an attorney or entered a plea.