A mother from Washington has been charged with assault after it was alleged she repeatedly put bleach into her young daughter’s eyes. Jennifer Mothershead, 29 from Bonney Lake, is thought to have caused permanent vision loss in her 15-month-old daughter’s right eye.
Authorities became suspicious in May last year when the little girl was airlifted from Tacoma to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center after suffering a blow to the head, according to Q13 FOX News.
When she was treated, medical staff observed a previously diagnosed eye condition had got worse.
Doctors became suspicious that the head injury was a result of abuse and called the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
Mothershead did not explain how her daughter had got the head injury, and according to a detective, did not show any emotion about the girl’s injuries. The 15-month-old was taken into protective custody.
When hospital staff and detectives examined the girl’s eye drops that she had been using for her condition more closely, they noticed they had a strong smell.
A detective tested a few drops on his wrist and said they caused a minor burning sensation.
‘One of the things our detectives were concerned about was a lack of concern for the toddler from the mom and we started looking into it,’ Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ed Troyer told Q13 FOX News.
‘We found one of the eye drop bottles of chemicals, which basically burned our detectives. It obviously wasn’t something that should be going in someone’s eyes.’
The eye drops were sent for testing to the Food and Drug Administration’s Forensic Chemistry labs, where scientists found that they contained bleach.
The eye injuries suffered by the little girl matched up with the symptoms of bleach exposure and she had suffered to such an extent that medical staff ruled out the possibility that the dropper had simply been cleaned with bleach.
The girl’s condition has improved, but doctors say she has permanently lost vision in her right eye.
Now two years old, she has been living with her father since last spring.
Mothershead has pleaded not guilty and her bail was set at $150,000.