A Florida woman has been charged with various crimes after authorities in Jacksonville say she habitually and continuously poisoned a child that was in her care. News 4 JAX reports that 38-year-old Shauna Taylor has also been diagnosed with a dangerous condition that many “killer moms” have been diagnosed with as well. What drove this woman to almost kill a child in her care?
This case began in 2013, when Taylor reportedly took a female child in her care to the hospital multiple times. At the time of the hospital visits, doctors weren’t able to figure out what was wrong with the child. Ultrasounds were performed, which found abnormalities in her liver. Her blood tests also showed very high levels of iron — which was also abnormal. When suspicions were raised about what may have been making the girl sick, she suddenly began to recover. That’s because, according to police, the Florida woman had stopped giving her iron supplements out of fear of being caught.
Police in Florida are accusing Shauna Taylor of intentionally poisoning the unnamed child with iron supplements, knowing that exceeding the dosage of these supplements could make the child sick. Authorities also believe she was keeping the child sick in order to get attention as part of her diagnosis — a dangerous condition that has been the common factor shared by many mothers and caregivers who commit medical child abuse. That condition is called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, which is a mental condition which compels mothers (and caregivers) to secretly harm others in order to draw attention to themselves. Taylor has been diagnosed with this condition by three different experts.
Woman faces allegations of Munchausen Syndrome by proxy in Duval County – https://t.co/LoFr9xJZiB
— 24-7 Newz (@247_newz) December 10, 2015
The Bonner County Daily Bee says that the 38-year-old Florida woman was arrested in Albany, New York, and then extradited back to Jacksonville earlier this month. Authorities believe that she had relocated from Florida under the pressure of the investigation that was ongoing against her. She has been charged with child abuse and child neglect in the case involving the child, whose age has not been listed.
Lacey Spears joins list of notorious killers at prison http://t.co/iSVedA44Gm pic.twitter.com/czQno31Uki
— iTruckTV (@itrucktv) April 15, 2015
Shauna Dee Taylor is far from the first woman to be accused of medical child abuse in association with Munchausen Syndrom by Proxy. Earlier this year, a woman named Lacey Spears was imprisoned after she was convicted of killing her little boy. The woman had displayed behavior associated with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy when she poisoned her young son with salt over a span of five years. She did all of this to gain attention online among the “mommy blogger” community.
In 2011, an Arizona mother named Blanca Montano was arrested after authorities alleged that she was making her infant daughter sick for attention. The infant was diagnosed with at least nine different rare conditions while in her care. Authorities in Arizona allege that the Arizona mom was poisoning the baby as part of the behavior associated with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.
The Florida woman in this latest case is very fortunate that she did not manage to kill the child that she is accused of habitually poisoning. Had the child died, she could have faced far worse charges, which could get her some hard prison time if she’s convicted. For now, she’s only been charged with child abuse and child neglect, which do carry stiff punishments in the state of Florida, but given her mental diagnosis, it’s hard to tell what kind of punishment she may be given if she’s convicted.
[Photo: Jacksonville Police mugshot]