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Officials Take Two Girls From Mother

June 27, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

San Bernardino County juvenile authorities have taken two young girls away from their mother, alleging that the woman was exhibiting signs of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a condition in which a parent says a child is ill to gain sympathetic attention.

The girls were seized Tuesday by the San Bernardino County district attorney on behalf of the juvenile court.

The alleged victimized child was a 2-year-old who had visited emergency rooms and doctors' offices 58 times, Deputy Dist. Atty. John Watterson said.

"The girl was being treated for seizures the mother said she was experiencing," Watterson said.

"Doctors ran tests and gave the child drugs, even though it was questionable if the seizures ever existed."

Watterson said the mother, whose identity was not made public, fled to Kingman, Ariz., with her children before being located. Watterson said juvenile court dependency hearings will determine if the mother will be able to retain custody of her children.

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