An Idaho mother faced felony charges this week after she allegedly starved her infant daughter nearly to the point of death.
Police arrested Tiffany Knapp, 21, of Caldwell, Idaho on Sunday after child welfare authorities found her 8-month daughter was severely malnourished, according to The Daily Mail.
Authorities have been investigating the case since March when social workers discovered that Knapp’s baby girl weighed significantly less than she should. According to police, Knapp was feeding the baby only Kool-Aid and watered-down milk. The infant weighed only 11 pounds in March; most babies her age weigh between 17 and 21.5 pounds, the report states.
The baby girl was born prematurely and had trouble gaining weight, according to the report. Doctors prescribed her a special formula to help her gain weight, but Knapp later admitted to police that she never filled her daughter’s prescription, the report states.
When social workers saw the baby girl’s condition in March, they immediately took her to the hospital, according to the report. There, emergency medical professionals said the baby “would have likely died of malnutrition within days of being seen had she not received medical attention due to lack of nutrition and proper care,” according to court documents.
The infant girl was placed in foster care where she quickly began to gain weight, according to the report.
Authorities told KTVB that they just recently charged Knapp because they wanted to conduct a thorough investigation. Police charged her with felony injury to a child.
All 50 states have laws in place to protect babies from abandonment, neglect and infanticide. Safe haven laws allow mothers in crisis to leave their newborns in a safe environment, such as a hospital or fire station, without questions or repercussions. An estimated 3,000 babies have been saved as a result of safe havens.