Mother of 8 arrested in ‘medical child abuse’ case
By Brent Weisberg
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Josephine County mother is in jail, accused of being the mastermind behind an elaborate scheme to medically abuse her children, KOIN 6 News has confirmed.
Katherine G. Parker, 44, of Grants Pass, Ore., who is known as “Kate,” was booked into the Josephine County Jail late Tuesday afternoon.
She was arrested by two officers with the Grants Park Department of Public Safety at her residence on Southeast Marjean Lane, Sgt. Edward Burke said. Officers went out to her address after learning about the warrant from officials in Multnomah County, police said. The officers knocked on the door and Parker was taken into custody without any use of force, Burke said. The arrest warrant stemmed from a 43 count indictment issued by a Multnomah County grand jury. The jurors voted Monday, a law enforcement source told KOIN 6 News.
According to jail records obtained by KOIN 6 News through the sheriff’s office, the warrant lists 24 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment, four counts of first-degree assault, one count of child abandonment, four counts of computer crime, four counts of identity theft, five counts of witness tampering and one count of recklessly endangering another.
Specific details of the case, and the investigation, are being withheld because the case is still under investigation.
However, sources connected to the investigation, but who were not authorized to speak publicly, said the case centers around allegations that Parker lied to doctors and made up and caused illness or injury to at least one of her eight children.
Sources also confirm that Parker actively sought, and was given, donations through at least one online website to help pay for medical related expenses. Officials said, in one post, Parker made online comments to suggest her family needed help paying for funeral services, when in fact none of her children had died.
Members of the Multnomah County Child Abuse Team and Portland Police started looking into the case around the New Year. A law enforcement source told KOIN 6 News the case is being prosecuted in Multnomah County because Parker’s children where once at a Portland-area hospital.
Parker is expected to be transferred to the Multnomah County Detention Center soon. After being transferred, an arraignment date will be set. Her bail is set at $1,195,000. Parker was the only person indicted by the grand jury at this time, a law enforcement source said.
Historically, medical child abuse cases involve a parent who will lie to a pediatrician about the child’s symptoms. Experts in the field said doctors can be blindsided by the parent’s erroneous symptom accounts and will order medical treatment with the belief that the guardian is being truthful, especially when a child is non-verbal.
More information about this story will be published when it becomes available.