Teen Arrested for Allegedly Trying to Poison Adoptive Mother
Augusta County investigators say a 13-year-old girl put her adoptive mother's life in danger by intentionally poisoning her. The victim is home from the hospital, but the young suspect faces a felony charge.
Investigators with the Augusta County Sheriff's Office say a 63-year-old woman was vomiting blood and taken to Augusta Health for treatment Thursday night. They say the teen had made statements about harming her adoptive mother and the alleged weapon of choice was household ant killer.
The girl is accused of tainting the victim's food and drink from Wednesday evening until Thursday afternoon.
Augusta County Sheriff's Office Investigator Paul McCormick said, "It was put into apple butter and soda - two of the foods that the mother enjoyed. Exactly where the ant poison came from, whether or not it was pre-existing on the property or otherwise obtained, don't know."
Investigators say the mother and daughter from the Craigsville area had an ongoing dispute that apparently led to the poisoning.
According to investigators, acquaintances of the girl heard her make statements about trying to harm her adoptive mother on Wednesday. But they didn't take the threats seriously and call the sheriff's office until the victim got violently ill.
"Certainly it's our understanding, had this continued, that the likelihood of death was possible had not somebody called in as they did with their concerns," McCormick said.
The Augusta County Sheriff's Office obtained a petition against the 13-year-old girl while the victim was being treated at Augusta Health. The teen was charged under the Virginia code section that deals with "adulterating" a food or beverage with the intent to injure or kill. For an adult, that offense carries a penalty of 5 to 20 years in prison.
The sheriff's office says Valley Community Services Board has also been called in on the case to help ensure she has access to mental health services.
The girl is being held in the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Detention Center.
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