OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City woman is charged with child neglect after determining her baby’s alleged illnesses were faked.
Molly Caye Mullen, 29, was charged last week in Oklahoma County Court, stemming from when her 3-month-old son was admitted to OU Children’s Hospital in late July.
According to court documents, Mullen claimed the boy was “…urinating blood and spitting up blood.”
Doctors did numerous tests – some invasive – to find the problem. The problem was, according to a probable cause affidavit and police reports, Mullen was the source of the alleged illnesses.
“The staff of the hospital were worried about some of the reports that the mother had made,” said Oklahoma City police spokeswoman Megan Morgan.
A probable cause affidavit said, a week after the boy was admitted, a nurse saw Mullen wipe blood from her finger onto her son’s diaper. Court documents said Mullen admitted to hospital staff and eventually to investigators that she was “adding blood the entire time.”
Hospital staff filed a form alleging medical child abuse, or Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.
“The prevalence rates are relatively unknown, because it's so hard to diagnose,” said Dr. Maria Trapp, a clinical psychologist.
Trapp said statistics of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (also known as Factitious Disorder imposed on Another) are extremely difficult to track.
“It takes a lot of time, energy and effort for them to ever be discovered. So, it's relatively, likely, underreported,” Trapp said.
After Mullen was interviewed by police in early August, the child – as well as his twin brother – were placed in protective DHS custody. DHS would not comment further about the status of the case.
An arrest warrant for Mullen was issued Monday.