A 14-year-old girl died last month from a serious complication of diabetes, a condition that police say her mother tried to hide and failed to treat with the insulin she was prescribed.
Amber L. Hampshire, 39, of Alton, was charged Thursday with two felonies: involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in her daughter Emily’s death.
Emily, who competed in Junior Miss Madison County Fair Queen pageants, died from diabetic ketoacidosis, according to charging documents. It develops when a person can’t produce enough insulin.
According to a search warrant, Emily and Amber Hampshire were both told that Emily had diabetes in November 2013, five years before she died. Police said there was no evidence that her insulin prescription was ever filled.
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Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said Amber Hampshire hid the diagnosis from even the closest family members.
“We have no reason to believe that Emily’s father knew about this,” he said.
When officers searched the family’s home, they found pamphlets on diabetes care, tools for blood glucose testing and insulin delivery devices.
Her parents, Amber and Zachary Hampshire, told police that Emily had been sick for a couple of days before they found her unresponsive on Nov. 1 and called 911, according to the search warrant. Emily died two days later at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.
The document stated that while Emily was in the hospital, Amber Hampshire refused to release medical records from Emily’s past treatment at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. When Cardinal Glennon eventually obtained the records, they showed the 2013 diabetes diagnosis.
The records also revealed that Emily had been hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis once before, in February 2018, when doctors prescribed insulin as treatment. She was never brought to the hospital for three follow-up appointments that had been scheduled, according to the search warrant.
Police said Amber Hampshire, who worked at Emily’s private school in Godfrey, told the staff that they could disregard the medical plan they received regarding Emily’s diagnosis because it was wrong.
Emily’s obituary stated that she would be missed by many family members, including a “special uncle,” Amber Hampshire’s brother, who is a doctor.
Gibbons’ office has dealt with allegations of medical neglect before, but he said the typical reasons are addiction or poverty. “There’s none of that in this case. There’s nothing to explain this,” Gibbons said.
Amber Hampshire turned herself into Alton police on Thursday. Her bail was set at $100,000.