Toronto Star

Saturday, February 20, 1999

Baby's mother arrested

The Toronto Star

A 27-year-old eastern Ontario woman has been charged with criminal negligence and failure to provide the necessities of life for her 5-month-old son.

The infant had been admitted to an unnamed hospital in the Toronto area for about a month because he was not gaining weight, Toronto police said. The boy had received treatment in other hospitals recently for the same problem.

Hospital officials became suspicious and placed a hidden camera in the child's room early this week to monitor his treatment, police said.

The camera recorded a woman removing the IV that provided nourishment, and diluting the mixture with water, said police, who released no names.

"Failure to thrive can be caused by any number of factors," said Detective David Barwell, of 51 Division in Regent Park.

"There was no medical explanation for it and when the baby actually started to lose weight, doctors got suspicious."

The infant is still in hospital under the protection of the Children's Aid Society. His condition is improving, police said. "It seems there was nothing wrong with the baby other than his being intentionally deprived of nutrients," Barwell said.

The woman was arrested yesterday and will appear in court today.

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