An American woman, Victoria Moreno, has been accused of pushing her 3-year-old nephew into Lake Michigan because he was "acting up."

The boy, who suffered a cardiac arrest, was admitted to a local hospital and continues to be in critical condition. He was in the water for almost 20 minutes before divers could pull him out of it.

The incident took place on Monday near Navy Pier in Chicago at around 1 pm. The woman had taken the boy to the lake so he could "go on the rides," according to police reports.

Moreno initially maintained that she was only a witness to the incident. Later, she changed her story and said that she was holding the boy's shirt and let go because he "was acting up."

However, the CCTV footage from the location showed the woman looking around before pushing him towards the edge of the pier and throwing him into the water.

Moreno allegedly made no attempt to call 911 or rescue the child. "He was...floating on his back and just looking up at the sky, his head was the only thing that was bobbing above the water," an eyewitness told The Chicago Sun Times.

She was taken into custody and appeared in court on Thursday. She was denied bail and is due in court again on September 30. An investigation into the case is still in progress.

"We are working very closely with the Chicago Police Department as they investigate the incident. Our hearts are with the child and his loved ones," said Navy Pier officials in a statement released on Monday.

Meanwhile, the boy continues to be in critical condition. He is suffering from a swollen brain and bleeding in his lungs. The toddler is not expected to survive.

A report in The Mirror states that the woman was not allowed to drive as she takes medication for "mental health issues." The boy's mother had left her son with his grandmother when Moreno took the boy with her.

Lake Michigan
Michigan Lake in the US. Photo/Notorious4life at English Wikipedia, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons