A mother has been accused of medical child abuse after allegedly making her three-year-old daughter go through numerous unnecessary medical procedures and surgeries.
Jessica Gasser, 27, was arrested in Tarrant County, in the US state of Texas, on Friday, 14th July after the police investigated her for a month on suspicion of injury to a child.
She has not been formally charged by prosecutors yet and local media have said that she may suffer from Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
Munchausen is a psychiatric disorder whereby a person feigns illness or psychological trauma to garner attention or sympathy.
Gasser had been seeing a number of doctors in Texas, Ohio, and Louisiana, with unnamed individuals working at the various medical facilities telling investigators that she was “doctor shopping to get what she wanted”, according to local media.
Investigators said that she even set up a GoFundMe page to get money for a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, so that her daughter could receive treatment for a rare medical condition that she does not have and was never diagnosed with.
Gasser has been reported to child protective services by a number of medical institutions and subsequently deleted a number of social media posts and messages about her daughter’s health, according to local media.
After investigators obtained a warrant for her devices, they said that it appeared that “the suspect did delete at least a portion of her Facebook account”.
Gasser also reportedly searched the Internet using queries such as “Tarrant county medical child abuse cases”, “how to fix munchausen by proxy”, and “Is lying to a doctor about a child illegal”, according to the authorities.
A police affidavit said that the three-year-old girl, who has not been named, began “thriving” physically after someone else began caring for her. It is currently unclear if the young girl has been taken into care by the state.
Newsflash obtained a statement from the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) on Tuesday, 18th July, saying: “Have you had social media contact with this individual? The TCSO Criminal Investigations Division is seeking information.
“Jessica Gasser is the subject of a medical child abuse case in which she allegedly had multiple unnecessary medical procedures performed on her 3-year-old child.
“She recently sent messages to a friend stating she would delete all social media posts about her child’s health, including private messages.
“If you have been in contact with her via social media or text message, please contact Detective Michael Weber at 817-884-3749.”
The investigation is ongoing.