An Indiana mother who injected fecal matter into her 15-year-old son’s IV while he was undergoing cancer treatment has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Tiffany Alberts, 44, of Wolcott, Indiana, will serve five years probation following her prison sentence, Michael Leffler, a spokesman with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office told CNN Friday.
Alberts was convicted of six counts of aggravated battery and one count of neglect in September, according to Marion County Superior Court documents. She was found not guilty of one count of attempted murder.
James Voyles, an attorney for Alberts, declined to comment.
In 2016, Alberts’ son spent several weeks being treated for leukemia at Riley Hospital for Children. A few days after he was released, in September, the boy had to return to the hospital with a fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
Blood tests showed that he had developed a bacterial infection and sepsis caused by organisms normally found in feces. An extensive medical evaluation could not explain the findings, and hospital staff suspected someone might be contaminating his IV lines.
Video surveillance of the room caught Alberts injecting a substance into her son’s central line.
Alberts at first told investigators she was injecting water to “flush it as the medicine that was given to him burned.” But she later admitted to poisoning him with his own feces, which she kept in a gift bag on the bathroom sink of his room, officials said.
She knowingly placed her son “in a situation that endangered the dependent’s life or health,” according to court documents.
Alberts claimed her actions were meant to get her son moved from the intensive care unit to another unit, where she believed “the treatment was better.”
Tiffany Alberts is not alone
In October, Kelly Renee Turner, 41, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 7-year-old daughter, Olivia Gant. Turner has been accused of lying about her daughter having cancer and withholding medical treatment and nourishment in the final weeks of the girl’s life.
The Colorado mother was also charged with forgery, theft, child abuse and bilking Medicaid out of nearly $538,000.
A condition known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, in which a parent or caregiver fabricates illnesses or symptoms of a medical condition for a person to draw attention to themselves, was mentioned in the course of the Turner investigation.
(Reuters contributed to this report.)