Crime

Mom accused in daughter’s diabetes-related death pleads not guilty

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.

The mother accused of hiding her daughter’s diabetes diagnosis for years and failing to treat it with insulin has pleaded not guilty to the charges she faces in the teenager’s death.

Amber L. Hampshire, 39, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment last month.

Her 14-year-old daughter, Emily, died from diabetic ketoacidosis on Nov. 3 because she didn’t have enough insulin in her body — five years after doctors told them she had diabetes and nine months after she was prescribed insulin, according to police records.

On Friday morning, her preliminary hearing was postponed until Jan. 31 at the Madison County Criminal Justice Center.

Officers found no evidence that the insulin prescription was ever filled. Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons has said it wasn’t because of poverty or addiction.

“There’s none of that in this case,” Gibbons said. “There’s nothing to explain this.”

Emily2.jpg
Emily Hampshire was photographed in 2018 with other contestants of the Junior Miss Madison County Fair Queen Pageant. File photo

The parents told police that Emily had been sick for a couple of days with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea before she was found unresponsive at home Nov. 1. When officer searched the family’s Alton home, they found pamphlets on diabetes care, tools for blood glucose testing and insulin delivery devices.

Gibbons has said police don’t believe Emily’s father, Zachary, knew about her diabetes diagnosis.

Staff at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, where Emily died, reported to police that Amber Hampshire told them her daughter was never prescribed insulin and refused to release Emily’s medical records.

The records showed that Emily and Amber Hampshire were told she had diabetes in November 2013, that Emily was hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis before in February 2018, which is when doctors prescribed insulin, and that they never returned for their follow-up appointments.

A Cardinal Glennon social worker noted that medical neglect may have played a part in Emily’s death, because if she had seen a doctor regularly, her diabetic ketoacidosis in November “may have had a very different outcome,” according to police records.

Staff at Emily’s private school told the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services that they received a medical plan for Emily’s diabetes around February 2018. But they said Amber Hampshire, who worked there, told them the diagnosis was wrong and that they could disregard it.

The DCFS investigation was still pending as of Thursday. The Belleville News-Democrat’s request for the agency’s report was denied.

Hampshire entered a plea of not guilty on Jan. 10, her attorney John Stobbs and Gibbons confirmed Thursday. Stobbs declined to comment further on the case.

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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.

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