ATLANTIC, Iowa -- Formal charges have been filed against the Atlantic mother who police say claimed her daughter was suffering from terminal cancer for financial gain, including a trip for her family to Disney World.
Leatha Slauson, 30, claimed her 5-year-old daughter was dying from colorectal cancer. Officials found out the girl wasn't sick when she was registered for school.
Slauson is facing a total of 19 charges. They include two counts of child endangerment, distribution of drugs to a minor, two counts of administering harmful substances, two counts of assault while participating in a felony, two counts of domestic abuse assault and 10 counts of unlawful possession of a prescription drug. If convicted, she could serve up to 67 years in prison.
"There are some questions still that need answered. The sources as to where the drugs came from as well as the financial aspect," says Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner.
Investigators are still waiting on bank records to determine to determine how much money Slauson may have pocketed. Feistner says it looks like the community donated between $10,000 and $30,000.
Courts documents show that Slauson inserted a feeding tube through the nose and into the stomach of her daughter to administer the cannabis oil and injected the drug Neupogen without any medical advice.
The latter is a drug that helps your body make white blood cells and is used during chemotherapy. It can cause muscle and joint pain, cramping, stiffness and bodily injury.
"It's just heartbreaking to think that a mother could do that to do her own child," says Kathy Kerns of Atlantic.
"The child in question here, to my knowledge, is doing better in school and back with her father," says Feistner.
Slauson's Cass County trial is scheduled to start on November 12. She is being held on a $35,000 cash only bond.