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Attempted murder charge against mom in fecal injection case

INDIANAPOLIS -- A prosecutor charged a northwestern Indiana woman with attempted murder Friday after she told police she injected fecal matter into her son’s IV tube while he was hospitalized for leukemia.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry filed the new charge against Tiffany Alberts, 41, of Wolcott, who had been charged Nov. 22 with six counts of aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury. She was released from the Marion County Jail on her own recognizance the following day.

Staff at Indianapolis’ Riley Hospital for Children contacted police after the 15-year-old boy developed several infections and a nurse observed Alberts injecting his IV bag with an unknown substance, court documents say. 

The case appears to date back to September, when the boy received his first round of therapy and then went home, medical staff told investigators. He returned a few days later with a high fever, vomiting and significant bouts of diarrhea, CBS affiliate WLFI reported. Doctors found the child’s blood had organisms normally found in stool, and experts couldn’t find a medical explanation for the persisting blood infection.

During the period Alberts was allegedly injecting feces into her son’s IV, the teen went into septic shock multiple times, once so severely that he had to be placed on a ventilator, documents say. He also required multiple surgeries, the Associated Press reported. 

The teen was in intensive care for 18 days and, due to the infections, doctors had to put his chemotherapy on hold for approximately two months, placing him at high risk of relapse in his leukemia, documents say. 

According to court documents obtained by WLFI, Alberts was brought in for questioning. She allegedly first told investigators she injected water into her son’s IV to “flush the line” because the “medicine that was given to him burned,” the documents said.

But the woman allegedly later confessed, telling investigators she injected the boy’s IV with fecal matter several times since Nov. 13. She claimed she only did it to get her son moved to another unit at Riley, where she believed treatment was better.

Alberts was arrested and a judge issued a no-contact order, WLFI reported.

A message seeking comment was left for one of Alberts’ attorneys.