Mom pleads guilty to poisoning toddler with laxatives so doctors would be more attentive
A Minnesota mother pleaded guilty on Thursday to endangering her toddler son by trying to make him appear sicker so his doctors would be more attentive to him.
Megan Kafer, 25, was arrested on July 26, 2018, and charged months later with felony-level child endangerment that could cause harm or death, according to the Duluth News Tribune.
Kafer's toddler son, who is now 3 years old, was hospitalized in early July 2018 for "failure to thrive," a condition in which a young child does not gain weight or grow as expected.
Doctors at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul began to suspect that Kafer was intentionally starving her son when the child remained unable to gain weight, despite persistent treatment.
Staffers called in authorities, who set up a video surveillance system in Kafer's son's hospital room in order to see if "abuse or neglect may be occurring," according to an affidavit obtained by Heavy.
Police recorded the mother entering the bathroom, an area which is not recorded, and later exiting with a syringe. She can then be seen sitting down with the child on her lap and injecting the contents of the syringe into his feeding tube.
After reviewing the footage, Sergeant Eric Skog of the St. Paul Police Department confronted Kafer, who began shaking and crying as she was taken into custody. The syringe later tested positive for MiraLax, a laxative which was found in Kafer's purse at the time of her arrest.
Investigators also discovered Kafer had disconnected her son's feeding tube for long periods of time during his hospital stay and let him drink uncontrolled amounts of water, which led to him suffering a seizure due to hyponatremia.
On Thursday, the young mother told a judge that she acted the way she did because she was struggling with postpartum depression and genuinely believed starving her son was the only way she could get doctors to cure him.
"(My actions) made sense at the time, but they don’t now," she said in court.
Kafer and her husband have two children, both of whom were removed from her custody and currently are under the care of her spouse, according to the Duluth News Tribune.
She will appear in court again on May 7 for sentencing.