Crime

Woman Tries To Poison Toddler's Milk

| by Sarah Zimmerman

An Illinois stepmother faces charges of aggravated battery and domestic battery after trying to poison her husband's 17-month-old daughter by pouring nail polish remover into her milk bottle.

Andrea Vazquez-Hernandez, 37, was arrested in May 2015 after her husband called the police, reporting that his toddler had possibly ingested nail polish remover. He had tried to feed his daughter a bottle of milk, but became alarmed when she immediately spat out the liquid.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Vazquez-Hernandez had a troubled relationship with her husband's ex-partner, the toddler's biological mother.

The toddler was rushed to the hospital, but was released after she was found to have no injuries. The child reportedly did not actually ingest any of the laced milk.

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Court documents show that Vasquez-Hernandez and her husband had been in a relationship and had a child together in 2010. The couple briefly separated for two years, and during that time, the husband had a child with another woman, according to the Tribune.

The Tribune also reported that Vasquez-Hernandez would repeatedly send messages to the other woman, telling her to stop texting or calling her husband unless there was an emergency with the child. Prosecutors say that the toddler was "a constant reminder of a forbidden relationship."

After her arrest, Vasquez-Hernandez reportedly told police in a statement that she wanted to "punish" her husband and the other woman.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Vasquez-Hernandez's bond has been set at $250,000. She is expected to appear in court on June 27.

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A similar incident occurred in 2015, when a Maryland mother force-fed her 5-year-old son a bottle of cold medicine every two to four hours until he died. The Washington Post reports that the mother, 35-year-old Narges Shafeirad, attempted to cover her tracks by placing her son's body in the back seat of her car and driving to a gas station, where she then doused the car in gasoline.

She told detectives that she and her son were on her way to the beach and that she had gasoline in her car as a precaution in case she couldn't find an open gas station. She then said that she lit a cigarette and the car caught fire. 

Shafeirad had a strained relationship with her ex-husband, who had joint custody of the child. At one point, she told him: "I will make you cry. You will be sorry."

She was sentenced to 50 years in prison for murder.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Sander van der Wel/Flickr

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