Aug 9, 2013 3:41 PM by Sam Salzwedel

Tucson mom who fed baby feces sentenced to 13 years

Aug. 9: UPDATE - The Tucson woman who was convicted of intentionally making her child sick was sentenced to 13 years in prison Friday.

Blanco Montaño,23, will be credited with 72 days she has already served in jail.

Hospital staff alerted Child Protective Services of her 7-month-old's inability to get over an illness. Doctors suspected Montaño of intentionall making her ill by feeding her feces. It's a disorder known as Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.

May 31: UPDATE - Montaño was found guilty of the charges Friday.

May 23: TUCSON - The trial began for a mother accused of possibly making her 7-month-old daughter sick using feces.

"The doctors believe that Blanca is giving her daughter something to make her sick," according to an Interim Complaint by Tucson Police. "They indicated that ingestion of feces could cause the infections."

Opening arguments in the trial of Blanca Montaño started Wednesday.

Prosecutors say it is a case of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. That means she made up an illness in somebody else to get attention, even though they say she created a real illness. They believe she wanted the attention of the girl's father.

Dr. Hari Ghuman is a clinical psychiatry professor at the University of Arizona. He just learned about the case and has nothing to do with the trial. He said the condition is real.

"It's not that common," he said, "but we see one child in 200,000 cases. But it can be from mild to very severe, and you usually hear one or two cases in the news every year."

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is usually committed by young mothers, but sometimes by fathers, according to Ghuman.

Montaño is now 23 years old. Her daughter and son became sick in February 2011.

Her son was treated and released, but her daughter kept getting rare and severe infections. After a month of treatment, hospital staff called Child Protective Services and Tucson Police.

Montaño closed blinds, turned off lights and covered her baby's crib with blankets against hospital staff's recommendations, according to prosecutors. They even placed a hidden camera that Montaño covered, according to the Interim Complaint.

Her defense argued that hospitals are full of sick people and strange infections. They said she made the hospital room like a home and did everything a loving mother would.

Defense attorneys do not believe the state will be able to prove any specific time or method of infection by the girl's mother.


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