Pierce County prosecutors filed assault charges Monday against a 29-year-old mother after investigations revealed she had been administering her daughter eye drops mixed with bleach. According to court documents, the 14-month-old girl was taken to Harborview Medical Center last May for a head injury. Doctors also discovered that the girl had an eye infection and believed that the head injury may have been a result of abuse, which prompted them to contact police officials.
The girl’s mother, Jennifer Mothershead, claimed the girl received antibiotics and eye drops for an eye problem she sustained while playing in a barn. At the hospital, Mothershead told detectives she was unemployed and had been caring for her daughter full-time but didn’t offer any explanation for the head injury or show emotion about the extent of other complications.
After the girl was subsequently placed in state protective custody, Mothershead told detectives she needed to give the girl additional medication before she left. When a hospital staff member later opened the eye drop container, a foul odor caused mild nausea and burning eyes amongst staff members. An FDA Forensic Chemistry Lab analysis determined the drops contained bleach.
Mothershead was arrested on Friday and is expected to make her first appearance in court on Monday in Tacoma.
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