CLAYTON, MO (KPLR) - A mother is charged with intentionally poisoning her 9-year-old son with prescription medications. She lives in northwest Missouri but the alleged overdoses were discovered by doctors in St. Louis.
The charges were revealed on Friday. Investigators have been working on building the case all year. The child has been in protective custody since January.
Rachel Kinsella, 35, of Meadville, Missouri, is charged with felony endangerment of the welfare of a child. Meadville is about 220 miles northwest of St. Louis.
Kinsella had been coming to St. Louis Children's Hospital to have her son treated for epilepsy. Doctors discovered the reason the boy repeatedly became seriously ill was from a dangerous combination and overdose of two prescription drugs, given over the period of about a year.
But how could that happen? Well, it turns out Kinsella was having her son treated by doctors both in St. Louis and at Children's Mercy of Kansas City. Neither knew about the other, which according to the charging documents was an intentional attempt by Kinsella to hide how she was allegedly poisoning her son.
"The child, when he would present at the hospital in very serious condition, would get much better while he was there. When he was returned to her custody he got sick again. And apparently was being treated by two different doctors, apparently unknown to each other." said St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch
"We deny all the allegations that have been made against her. Rachel wants her son back and she has been dealing with that through a juvenile case. Now that we have the criminal case we are prepared to fight the good fight." said Defense Attorney Greg Smith.
Kinsella would stay at an apartment in the 7400 block of Grant Village in South County when she would come to St. Louis.
The boy is now living with his paternal grandparents and is said to be thriving. He has no lasting effects from the medication issue.
There is speculation that this could be a case of Munchausen by proxy, a condition in which a mother makes a child ill to bring attention to herself. Kinsella`s attorney says that is not the case. Court documents say the mother admits to having accidentally given her son the wrong medicine on "an occasion."
So why didn't the doctors in St. Louis and Kansas City know what medicines each other had prescribed? Well, Missouri is the only state in the U.S. that refuses to create a prescription medicine database. This would allow doctors and pharmacists to see what has been prescribed to you by other doctors and pharmacists.
Kinsella has being released from the St. Louis County Jail after paying 10 percent of her $50,000 bond.