Metro-East News

Teen’s death follows at least 4 child endangerment cases in 2018 — here’s how they differ

Timeline of events leading up to Alton teen’s death, her mother’s arrest

Emily Hampshire, 14, died Nov. 3, 2018. Her mother, Amber Hampshire, 39, was charged with involuntary manslaughter Dec. 27, 2018. Police accuse her of hiding Emily's diabetes diagnosis and failing to treat it, which led to her death.
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Emily Hampshire, 14, died Nov. 3, 2018. Her mother, Amber Hampshire, 39, was charged with involuntary manslaughter Dec. 27, 2018. Police accuse her of hiding Emily's diabetes diagnosis and failing to treat it, which led to her death.

Investigators have so far found “nothing to explain” 14-year-old Emily Hampshire’s death in November.

The Alton teen didn’t receive treatment for diabetes and died from a complication of the condition — not because of poverty or addiction, which has been the case for other local families.

Emily’s mother, 39-year-old Amber L. Hampshire, was charged Thursday with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. She is accused of hiding Emily’s diabetes diagnosis from family, from her school and from doctors.

Hampshire turned herself in to police on Dec. 27. She is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 18 for a preliminary hearing.

A social worker at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, where Emily died, wrote in her medical record that hospital staff believed medical neglect may have played a part in her death, according to police.

Amber Hampshire told the staff that her daughter had been hospitalized for pneumonia but refused to release Emily’s medical records to them.

When the staff eventually obtained the documents, they showed Emily had been diagnosed with diabetes in 2013 and was prescribed insulin as a treatment after a February 2018 hospitalization for pneumonia and diabetic ketoacidosis.

Emily would die from diabetic ketoacidosis nine months later at Cardinal Glennon.

In a previous interview with the Belleville News-Democrat, Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said that Emily’s death differs from other medical neglect cases.

In the past year, authorities in Madison and St. Clair counties have investigated the deaths and injuries of at least five children and sought charges against their parents.

Their punishments have ranged from prison time to probation, along with drug and alcohol treatment. Some are awaiting sentencing.

Here’s a look at how the circumstances and sentences have differed in the other four child endangerment cases.

Mental illness, alcoholism combine to fill a home with trash

Timothy and Amy Elkins, both 35 at the time, were charged Feb. 1, 2017, with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in their 2-month-old son Matthew’s death.

They lived in a trash-filled New Douglas home where most of the family slept on one mattress together. Matthew suffocated on the mattress Jan. 31, 2017.

Timothy Elkins was sentenced Sept. 1, 2017, to six years in prison. Amy Elkins received four years’ probation, along with drug addition treatment, Dec. 18, 2017.

Baby dies with drunk, sleeping parents

Katie Seib, then-28, and Brandon Fisk, then-30, both of Collinsville, were charged July 12, 2018, with child endangerment.

Police said their drinking led to the circumstances that caused the death of their 2-week-old child June 16, 2018.

One of the parents was accused of putting the baby in bed with the other parent, who was sleeping. The child was dead when they woke up the next morning.

Seib and Fisk were each sentenced to 30 months’ probation and drug addiction and alcohol treatment Sept. 4, 2018.

A nameless baby kept in urine-soaked bin

Matthew D. Espino-Tonche, then-21, and Elyssa A. Arellano, then-19, of Shiloh, were charged with aggravated battery and child endangerment on Nov. 21, 2017.

A day earlier, Espino-Tonche brought his infant daughter to Memorial Hospital East, saying he found the baby in a dumpster, according to police. The baby was malnourished and had multiple broken bones in her arms and a deep cut on her leg.

Espino-Tonche’s sentencing and Arellano’s trial are scheduled for 2019.

Child consumes mom’s meth

On Dec. 20, 2018, Ashley N. Parr, 30, was charged with meth possession, reckless conduct and child endangerment.

She is accused of allowing her 2-year-old child to consume meth on Dec. 10, 2018.

She had no pending court appearances as of New Year’s Eve.

The metro-east is home for investigative reporter Lexi Cortes. She was raised in Granite City, went to school in Edwardsville and now lives in Collinsville. Lexi has worked at the Belleville News-Democrat since 2014, winning multiple state awards for her investigative and community service reporting.