Minnesota mom charged with giving her baby medicine to cause starvation
On July 11, Megan Lee Kafer’s 9-month-old son was admitted to the hospital for “failure to thrive,” according to court documents. Medical staff suspected that the mother was harming her child.
The woman was caught in the act at the hospital giving her son an injection that had a laxative. Charges have since been filed against her as it was believed she was trying to starve the baby.
In July, Megan Lee Kafer’s son was admitted to the Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. Medical staff at the hospital noticed that the infant appeared “emaciated” despite doctors’ “inexplicably ineffective” efforts to help him gain weight.
The hospital contacted law enforcement and on July 26, Kafer’s baby was placed in a hospital room. Camera surveillance was set up to monitor their interactions.
For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. Soon enough, the mother was observed injecting something into what appeared to be her child’s feeding tube with a syringe.
At the time, Kafer, 25, was unaware that she was being recorded. Police immediately entered the room and told her they needed to talk to her and she started shaking uncontrollably as she was taken into custody.
Officials retrieved the syringe and two packages of Miralax, is an over-the-counter laxative, from her purse. She told the police that the laxative was for her and claimed to have only put water in the syringe in order to help her son gain weight.
However, when the syringe was tested at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension it was determined that the liquid inside of it was Miralax. When officials searched her phone they encountered several internet searches related to overdosing on the laxative and other medical concerns involving babies.
Kafer had searched for “Miralax overdose,” “Can a doctor tell if you overdose on Miralax,” “How to make a baby really sick,” “Mom gets 20 years to life for poisoning son with salt,” “Salt child death,” and “How to make a baby vomit.”
A medical report on the child noted that his “poor weight gain” during his hospitalization was likely due to his mother “denying him nutrition through a combination of disconnecting/diverting his feeds and administering water.”
It also stated that “there was every reason to believe” the baby’s continued weight issues were caused by “inflicted starvation.” Kafer’s child also suffered a seizure during his hospitalization that appeared to be caused by hyponatremia.
Hyponatremia is caused by drinking too much water. The mother’s parental rights were then terminated and she was charged.
She’s facing one count of felony-level child endangerment that could result in substantial harm or death. Kafer is scheduled to appear in court on the charge in mid-December.
However, on Monday, her husband, Jacob Kafer, said that his family was working hard to be reunited. The couple has two children.
“We are trying to get the family back together in a way that is safe and healthy for everyone.”
The parents have since started working with a counselor. The boy’s mother was diagnosed with a Munchausen-by-proxy syndrome which is when someone, usually a parent, hurts another person or causes illness to gain sympathy for themselves.
But Jacob doesn’t agree with the diagnosis. He revealed that they both intended to fight the charges she was facing in court.
Kafer has past struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder which originated from her involvement in a fatal car accident years before. After the accident, she turned to self-harming behaviors and medication until she got a service dog.
In June, Octavia Robinson, 34, tried to poison her 6 and 10-year-old sons. She was arrested for putting lighter fluid in cream soda for them to drink.
Her warrants revealed that she created and allowed "a substantial risk of physical injury upon that child by other than accidental means by giving the juvenile lighter fluid for consumption."
A neighbor, Tracy Madison called 911 when the 10-year-old banged on her door and told her his mother had given him something to drink that didn’t smell right.
In court, the mother yelled at the judge telling him she no longer wanted her children. She faced two misdemeanor child abuse charges and two felony charges of distributing food noxious/deleterious material.
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