Hospital officials were baffled as to why a 7-month-old baby was suffering from seizures and sleep apnea. So he was hooked up to video and audio monitoring. That's when staff noticed something that gave them the chills. The boy's mom, Violet Hinrichs, was always around the boy when he suffered the seizures. In fact, she was reportedly observed on video squeezing her baby, Danny, around the neck until he turned blue, flailed his arms, his heart rate and brain waves dropped, and he eventually had seizures.
It's unclear how the mom was allegedly able to do this four times -- if he was under constant observation, shouldn't this have happened only once?
The baby reportedly never suffered a seizure when the mom wasn't around and hasn't suffered one since he was taken away from her. It's unclear if the baby will suffer any long-term effects.
Detectives said that Hinrichs, who had been posting for weeks on Facebook about her baby's ailments, admitted to the crime.
Hinrichs' sister is shocked by the charges. She told Tampa's Fox 13:
She's always been good with the baby. I've never seen her hit him, yell at him, nothing. So this is kind of overwhelming.
Hinrichs is only 19 -- not that there aren't responsible 19-year-old moms. Additionally, at least one report says that Hinrichs has a severe learning disability.
However, she was updating on Facebook for weeks about her baby's condition. One post said:
Wanted to update every one on Danny. He is being treated for seizures. In the past 24 hrs he had 6 with 2 lasting longer than 6 minutes...Please keep him in your prayers. If he does ok on these meds we will go home Sunday night.
Hinrichs' sister thinks she may suffer from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a form of child abuse wherein a child's caretaker will cause or exaggerate or fabricate illness in the child. Posting updates on Facebook is certainly one way to get sympathy. And unfortunately it makes you wonder about everyone posting about their kids' ailments. Are they just making it up?
But what could cause this mom to do this in a hospital -- where she knew the boy was being monitored? Would anyone do this unless they had a severe disorder or had a mental disability?
Luckily, the boy has been taken from harm's way and hopefully will not suffer any lasting damage. Still, if his mom is found guilty, he will not have a mother. And one day he will find out what his mother did to him. That will be trauma all over again.
What do you think about this disorder? Does it make you wonder about people who talk about their sick kids?
Image via Tampa Police