Pasadena mom charged after baby drinks lighter fluid

May 10, 2012 8:50:34 AM PDT
A Pasadena mother allegedly let her toddler drink lighter fluid by failing to watch the child.

Daphne Brooks, 41, is charged with injury to a child. According to court documents, in June 2011, Brooks allegedly left her 16-month-old baby outside her apartment without adult supervision, where the toddler was able to ingest lighter fluid.

The baby was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a form of pneumonia, due to the lighter fluid. He spent nine days in the hospital for the pneumonia and the fact that he was diagnosed with "failure to thrive" due to lack of care by Brooks, the court documents state. The baby was found to be far below average size for his age.

Hospital staff said Brooks seemed disinterested, reluctant to talk about the baby, and couldn't give them any details of his diet or care, even though she identified herself as the primary caregiver.

In January 2012, Brooks told police she was at work when the incident with the lighter fluid took place. However, police say that in June she gave a statement saying she had gone inside, leaving the baby outside. Additionally, she could not provide the name and address of her employer, and when she took the baby to the hospital, she filled out paperwork claiming she was unemployed.

Bail for the felony charge has been set at $10,000.


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