Father Tried to Drown His Son as “Sacrifice to Jehovah”

A Lyft driver’s quick thinking led to the rescue of a two-year-old boy after the driver overheard the child’s father, Jeremiah Campbell, making alarming comments during their ride. According to a police report, Campbell was discussing plans to drown his son as a “sacrifice to Jehovah” among other conspiracy theories. The driver promptly alerted the authorities after dropping off Campbell and his son at an apartment complex.

Around the same time, emergency services received a distress call from the same location, reporting a toddler’s drowning. Upon arrival, Chicago police officers found the apartment locked. Peering through a window, they observed a man, later identified as Campbell, making suspicious movements over a bathtub. Believing a drowning was underway, the officers broke into the apartment.

Once inside, the officers found Campbell removing the boy from the bathtub. The child was coughing and appeared to be expelling water. He was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, although his current condition remains undisclosed.

An eyewitness described the harrowing scene to a local news station, WGN, saying, “They brought the child out and he was just drenched and coughing. The thought that ran through my head; I just saw my grandson. It was just awful.”

On Thursday, Campbell was charged with attempted murder, child endangerment, and violation of a protective order. The Cook County State Attorney’s Office confirmed this in an email to Law&Crime. Following a mental evaluation, Campbell was taken to Cook County Jail, where he is being held without bond. A protection order had previously been issued against Campbell, prohibiting him from being with his son. His court hearing is scheduled for September 21.

In a statement to Law&Crime, a Lyft spokesperson commended the driver’s actions, saying, “We applaud the quick thinking and courage of the Lyft driver who reported the suspicious rider behavior to the authorities. This act of responsibility helped lead to the rescue of a child from immediate danger. The rider’s account has been permanently removed from the Lyft platform, and we stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.”