By Calvin Palmer
A Texas woman has been captured on a surveillance video smearing feces from a diaper on her three-year-old daughter’s intravenous feeding line.
Emily Beth McDonald, 23, of Austin, has been charged with felony injury to a child and was released on a $100,000 bond yesterday. She faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Her arrest affidavit states that a surveillance video at Dell Children’s Medical Center captured McDonald on Sunday placing feces from a soiled diaper on the cap of a tube with a direct link to her child’s bloodstream.
Police interviewed her and she told them that she had wiped feces in the tube five times during her daughter’s hospital stay.
She said that she knew her actions could make the child severely ill and possibly even kill her. No motive was disclosed.
Her attorney, Bob Phillips, said McDonald is a “fine young woman from a fine family who loves her children very much”.
“I believe that as the facts unfold, the impression people have of this young woman will change for the better,” Phillips said.
The sick child was admitted to the hospital on April 15 with a high fever and “a long history of chronic diarrhea.”
Doctors conducted a blood test, which was positive for bacteria commonly found in feces, and inserted a feeding tube.
“The medical records showed the child would start getting better, and feces mostly likely would get introduced,” said Chris Hallas an Austin police child abuse detective
Hospital staff placed a camera in the room based on their concerns and it recorded McDonald’s actions. They reviewed the tape Sunday.
Officials said relatives are caring for McDonald’s six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son.
The children’s father, whom authorities did not identify, was surprised to learn of the allegations against McDonald, police said.