ALTON, Ill. – An Alton mother charged in the death of her teenage daughter has turned herself in.
Amber Hampshire is accused of hiding her daughter’s diabetes diagnosis for five years.
Emily went into a diabetic coma last month. She passed away two days after being admitted to the hospital.
Hampshire has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the life or health of a child. Her bond was set at $100,000. She turned herself in Thursday evening.
A lead detective with the Major Case Squad of Greater Saint Louis detailed his findings in new court documents obtained by 5 On Your Side’s PJ Randhawa.
On Nov. 1 at 8:08 a.m., a 911 call from the Hampshire household indicated Emily was unresponsive and not breathing. The 14-year-old was rushed to a local hospital and then airlifted to Cardinal Glennon in St. Louis.
She was unresponsive throughout her entire treatment from doctors, officials said.
Emily died two days later. Her cause of death was listed as diabetic ketoacidosis, said Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons.
Amber Hampshire told doctors at Cardinal Glennon that Emily went to St. Louis Children’s Hospital earlier in the year and was diagnosed with pneumonia. She also said Emily had high sugar levels, but insulin wasn’t prescribed.
Cardinal Glennon asked to have the medical records transferred to them, but Hampshire refused, the lead detective said.
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After Emily died, the hospital obtained the medical records. They found that Emily was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis in November 2013.
During her visit to St. Louis Children’s Hospital in February 2018, doctors again said she had diabetes and was prescribed insulin as a routine medicine. The hospital also set up follow-up appointments, but they never showed up, the detective said.
Emily’s school also received a notice about her diabetes diagnosis, but Amber’s mom—who worked at the school at the time—said the diagnosis was wrong and the school could disregard, the police detective found.
Doctors at Cardinal Glennon indicated on Emily’s medical records that medical neglect may have played a part in the teenager’s death.
“There were so many supportive people around this family and this young girl who would’ve stepped up and helped. I have no words,” said Tom Gibbons, the Madison County State’s Attorney.
A search warrant was executed at the Hampshire home on Nov. 7. The lead detective seized the teen’s cell phone. He has filed a search warrant to see if there are any further clues on her phone.
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While searching the house, the officer also found diabetes care packets, a medicine schedule and medicine checklist, along with various diabetes equipment items and medications.
So how could a parent let their child suffer and die?
Expert and clinical psychologist Dr. Marva Robinson said she believes it might be a because of a personality disorder.
“It sounds like it could be a personality characteristic where an individual wants to live their life through someone else. So this image must be perfect. So anything that is a crack to that foundation is ignored or dismissed,” Dr. Robinson said.
“If it was the pursuit of perfection in a child, I think every child is perfect in their own way. I don’t know what it was that drove her to do this,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons says the lack of medical treatment in this case is not related to the family’s religious beliefs. He said evidence gathered by investigators will prove it.
If convicted, the charge of involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of 3-14 years in prison. The charge of endangering the life of a minor is 2-10 years.
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