Police: Mother attempted to suffocate her baby for attention

Winter is being held on charges of attempted murder and aggravated child abuse.
By Aileen Graef  |  July 2, 2014 at 2:30 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., July 2 (UPI) -- A Florida judge denied bail to Brenna Winter Friday after she allegedly told investigators that she attempted to suffocate her 3-month-old daughter in order to receive attention.

The 18-year-old admitted her baby into Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando because she was vomiting blood. The baby was discharged, but Winter came back the next day claiming the girl was vomiting blood again.

Hospital staff became suspicious on June 6 after surveillance video showed Winter standing over her baby's crib just before alarms notified hospital staff about the infant's dropping vital signs. Their suspicions were significantly heightened when Winter went to nurse her daughter and held the baby so tight that medical personnel had to issue a "code blue" and revive the girl.

A hospital social worker immediately called protective services and police who said Winter later admitted to trying to suffocate her child for attention.

On Winter's Facebook, she has smiling pictures with her daughter and even set up a page to update family and friends on her daughter's status in the hospital.

Winter is being held on charges of attempted murder and aggravated child abuse. The baby is in the protective custody of the Department of Children and Families. Winter will undergo a mental health evaluation.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a mental illness that causes a person to fabricate symptoms or induce illness on their child in bid for attention. Most of the children affected by abuse from a guardian with the disorder are under the age of six.

Estimates suggest that around 1,000 of the 2.5 million cases of child abuse reported each year are related to MSP.

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