When Hayden and Taylor Shaw lost their only child, 9-month-old Kobe, they reportedly assumed it was because of Kobe's medical condition. The boy had been born with an underdeveloped brain, and the Shaws were told by doctors that he was unlikely to live past his fifth birthday.
At the time of Kobe's death in March, the Shaws were living with Taylor's mother, Tonya Monroe, at Monroe's apartment in Sandy Springs, Georgia, according to 11 Alive News. Monroe allegedly woke her daughter in the middle of the night to alert her that baby Kobe had turned blue.
"She had walked in," Taylor told the news station, "she walked over to his crib and she said, 'He's blue, Taylor, he's blue!' So I automatically jumped out of bed, ran over ... and I looked down and automatically ran away, screaming and crying, 'No!'"
The family called 911, but first responders could not revive Kobe. The young boy was dead.
"At first the investigation did not reveal anything out of the ordinary," said Sandy Springs Police Capt. Mike Lindstrom.
Everyone reportedly thought Kobe's death was related to his medical condition.
But then the Fulton County Medical Examiner ran some routine tests on Kobe and found something startling.
"Toxicology results came back positive for methamphetamine," said Lindstrom. "Something that should not have been in a 9-month-old child."
Kobe had died of a meth overdose, according to Lindstrom.
It was then that Kobe's death became a murder investigation.
Monroe reportedly had a history of meth arrests. Add to that the fact that Kobe was far too developmentally disabled to be capable of accidentally stumbling upon meth left around by Monroe - he could not crawl, touch his face, or even move on his own - and police concluded that Monroe had to have poisoned the boy intentionally.
The Shaws allegedly believed that Monroe was now clean. They said they wanted to give her a chance to be a part of Kobe's life.
Monroe has since disappeared. There has been no motive established for her alleged murder. Sandy Springs Police are hoping someone will tip them off as to her whereabouts. She was last seen driving a Silver 2004 Toyota 4-Runner with a Georgia license plate that reads: RAL9819.
"I hope you rot in jail," said Hayden, as if speaking to Monroe. "I hope she spends the rest of her life in there, to be honest with you."
“I could still have my son,” Tonya said through her tears. “We could have spent Mother’s Day with him, Father’s Day. And his birthday. His [first] birthday was May 31st.”
According to Child Trends Data Bank, infant homicide - or infanticide - accounts for nearly one in five injury-related deaths among infants (any child under one year of age).
Anyone with information about Tonya Danyial Monroe, 45, can contact the Sandy Springs Police Department Criminal Investigations Division's Detective Ortega -- at 770-551-6949, or by email at [email protected], 11 Alive News reports.