Police: Mom poisoned baby to get attention

Police: Mom poisoned baby to get attention »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A 25-year-old former medical assistant on probation for a similar crime laced her breast milk with morphine and fed it to her 2-month-old daughter in an effort to attract the attention of the child's father, authorities alleged Thursday.

Sarah Rose Dillard-Lubin, of Aloha, was on probation from California for feeding her son, who was 10 months old at the time, two opiate pills, officials said.

Both children survived.

In both cases, Dillard-Lubin was trying to attract the attention of the child's father - a different man in each case, said Sgt. David Thompson of the Washington County sheriff's office.

Thompson identified Dillard-Lubin, who was indicted Wednesday for assault, as a 25-year-old medical assistant at a pediatrics clinic.

A voice mail left Thursday with her lawyer, Dean Smith, wasn't immediately returned.

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, Jane Robison, said Dillard-Lubin pleaded no contest to a count of child abuse in 2006, accused of feeding two opiate pills to her boy.

In the Oregon case, Thompson said, the father of the 2-month-old didn't come to the hospital with Dillard-Lubin when she took the child to the emergency room.

"He hadn't paid attention to her and the child that she expected," Thompson said.

He said the Los Angeles case involved a similar motive. Robison said she couldn't immediately confirm that.

At St. Vincent's Hospital in June, doctors admitted the 2-month-old for observation, although they couldn't detect the fever that Lubin said she had. The next morning, a nurse found the child barely breathing. The baby survived, but her condition puzzled doctors until toxicology tests came back positive for opiates.

Dillard-Lubin told the hospital that she was on a pain killer and the opiates must have come through her breast milk, Thompson said. But lab tests of her milk turned up a high level of morphine, he said, indicating the drug had been added to it after pumping.

Thompson said Oregon officials have taken custody of the 2-month-old daughter, while custody of the boy in the California case was given to the father.

The California boy's grandfather, Fred Lubin, said Thursday that the child is "doing wonderful" and that he suffers no apparent side effects.

Dr. Rupa Shah of the Oregon Pediatrics clinic said Dillard-Lubin was fired a few months ago for spending too much time on the telephone. She had worked at the clinic for more than a year checking patients' weight, height and blood pressure and escorting them to examination rooms, he said.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)