ATHENS – Without explaining why precautions weren’t put in place, hospital staff told police that they were concerned a mother whose 9-year-0ld daughter later died, acted bizarrely, leading police to arrest her.
The 33-year-old mother, Roula Pispirigou is in detention after appearing before a magistrate and given until April 4 to prepare her defense against charges of killing the child with a cat sedative, said media reports.
Before she was taken into custody in the western city of Patra, Greece’s third-largest municipality, authorities talked to nurses, staff and medical examiners at the hospital where her daughter, Georgina, died in January.
Her two other children had also died in the previous three years, raising further suspicions but she hasn’t spoken out in the case which shocked the country and led to a phalanx of police escorting her into court.
Her mother and sister have also been summoned, said Kathimerini, as well as her estranged husband, the deaths of the three children a buzz on social media for months before the arrest.
Postmortem toxicology tests showed Georgina had received ketamine, an anesthetic drug often used in animal surgeries, which had not been prescribed by her treating doctors as she was being treated for a heart condition.
The case file, the paper said, wrote that, “The only person who was in Georgina’s room for the last 20 minutes of her life, before the side effects of the drug kicked in, was her mother.”
The girl died at noon but the mother didn’t tell doctors until 2:30 p.m.that she thought her daughter had suffered cardiac arrest, no report if anyone on the hospital staff had been checking on the child.
A hospital nurse testified to police that the mother asked her to find another nurse and didn’t seem the least bit alarmed and was instead nonchalant and even her walk didn’t show any alarm.
The nurse also said that the oximeter that had been placed on the child in order to notify staff in case of a drop in pulse had been mysteriously removed and other staff said the day before the death that they “had seen nothing yet,” and that, “the big episode has not yet taken place.”
She also reportedly asked hospital staff whether there were security cameras in the room but there was no report if that raised any concerns either.
The testimony said that whenever Georgina experienced convulsions, bradycardia or other serious issues, she was alone in the hospital room with her mother, but it wasn’t said why staff allowed the mother to be there after so many suspicions were raised about her behavior.