ONAWA, Iowa -- An Iowa mother is accused of forcing her son's head under a bathtub faucet, drowning the 15-month old.
Onawa police said they believe Ashley Cameron, 25, planned the whole thing.
Cameron is charged with first-degree murder and is being held on $1 million bond stemming from the February drowning of Markis Dahms.
Investigators said Cameron held her son's head under the faucet until he couldn't breathe, but her friend maintains Cameron is innocent.
It's the first murder case in Onawa in nearly 40 years.
The Iowa State Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy on the boy and determined the cause of death to be drowning and the manner of death as homicide.
"He was in the bathtub. His head was under the faucet. His mouth and nasal cavity filled with water," said special agent Mitch Mortvedt.
Onaway police believe Cameron deliberately held Dahms underwater.
Authorities said Cameron called 911 and told dispatchers that Dahms wasn't breathing.
"When she moved in, she was all confused. We took her under our wing. She's been like one of my kids," said neighbor Rita Poole.
Poole said she knows Cameron well and baby-sat for her.
"Knowing her, it might've been done accidentally, but there's no way it was deliberate. No way," Poole said.
Cameron lived in her Onawa home with two children. Abigail is 2 years old, and she was taken away in the first week of the investigation.
Authorities said Abigail is with family now.
"I want it to get back to as normal as possible. I want her to get her daughter back," Poole said.
Barbara Jessing, of the Heartland Family Services, said if anyone has concerns about a parent, they need to speak up.
"What we know about parents in child maltreatment is it often happens in conjunction. (There are) two things that are really prominent. One is high stress in parents' lives, and the other is isolation," Jessing said. "I think we have to be willing to say something, even if it's difficult to express our concern."
Every year, authorities said 16 states are surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for violent crime numbers, but Iowa and Nebraska are not among them.
However, the CDC said that between 2005 and 2009, there were 427 children between birth and 4 years of age in those states who died at the hands of their parents.
Poole said she can't believe Cameron would do this intentionally.
"I'm devastated. Absolutely devastated. But I don't believe for a minute that girl did anything to hurt her baby," said Poole.
Cameron was in the Monona County Jail being held on $1 million cash bond Thursday night.