Criminal psychologist: Mother of 8 may suffer from MBPS

Date: 2014-04-02

By Joel Iwanaga

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A local criminal psychologist said the Grants Pass mother of 8 accused of medical abuse may have been suffering from Munchausen by proxy syndrome (MBPS).

Investigators said Kate Parker, 44, will soon face charges at the downtown Justice Center after she lied to doctors, making them believe one of her children needed unnecessary medical treatment.

Doctor Frank Colistro, a criminal psychologist who in not involved with Parker’s case, said he believes the mother may have been suffering from MBPS, which is a form of child abuse in which a parent induces real or apparent symptoms of a disease in a child.

“A person reporting symptoms that don’t exist: feigning symptoms in another person (or) reporting illness of a child,” said Colistro.

Mike Trent, who is a former prosecutor in Texas, and who has prosecuted two medical child abuses cases spoke to KOIN 6 News by phone Wednesday and said anyone who commits medical child abuse for monetary gain is not suffering from a mental health issue.

“This is not a compulsive or psychotic behavior,” Trent said. “Just like you rob a bank to get money, this is medically abusing your child to either get the attention or financial support that you want.”

Neighbors of Parker described her and her family as loving and caring and did not suspect anything.

“I think it’s really shocking,” said Morgan Pearson, one of Parker’s neighbors.

Law enforcement sources said it remains unclear at this point why Parker would allegedly medically abuse one of her own children.

“(Was) a way to get public support, on the other hand, need for attention of their part,” said Colistro.

KOIN 6 News is awaiting a response from several people who may have donated to Parker’s cause.

Sources said thousands of dollars were donated to websites she set up to ask for donations.


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