Woman Doped Breast Milk for Attention, Police Say

Sara Rose Dillard-Lubin, Portland Oregon, near-deadly dose of morphine in her infant daughter?s blood

A woman who was on probation for feeding her toddler son pain pills in California now faces felony assault charges for doping her infant daughter with a near-lethal dose of morphine in Oregon.

Police said Sara Rose Dillard, aka Sara Rose Lubin, drugged her 2-month-old daughter June 4 in an alleged attempt to get attention from the child's father.

The infant was immediately rushed to the critical care center at Doernbecher's Children's Hospital in Portland and survived.

But it took several weeks for officers to unravel Dillard's past and her previous conviction of Willful Cruelty to a Child under the last name of Lubin in Los Angeles. In the previous conviction, Dillard was also accused of creating a medical emergency to get the attention of her child's father.

VIDEO: A mom is accused of doping breast milk given to her infant daughter.
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Messages to Dillard's lawyer, Dean Smith, were not returned Friday, and ABCNews.com could not find a listed number for Dillard.

Dr. Marc Feldman, author of the book "Playing Sick," said the previous conviction, coupled with Washington County police reports, would lead him to guess that Dillard was suffering with a disorder called Munchausen's syndrome by proxy.

"There's little doubt, in my opinion, that it's a Munchausen's syndrome by proxy case," he said.

The Cleveland Clinic describes the disorder as "a mental illness in which a person acts as if an individual he or she is caring for has a physical or mental illness when the person is not really sick."

People with Munchausen's syndrome by proxy are most often women, frequently mothers, and "intentionally harm or describe nonexistent symptoms in their children to get the attention given to the family of someone who is sick," according to The Cleveland Clinic.

"I know a lot of people have asked about Munchausen's syndrome, but she hasn't been diagnosed by a professional," said Sgt. David Thompson, spokesman for the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon.

Thompson said police are considering it an unusual case of child abuse.

How Could an Infant Get So Much Morphine?

This June, Dillard brought her infant daughter to St. Vincent's Hospital in Portland with what she said was a high fever, according to police reports.

Nurses didn't find signs of a high fever, but the staff chose to monitor the infant girl overnight. The next morning, a nurse checked the child's vital signs and said that the baby was barely breathing and had a low heart rate while Dillard was "presumably" sleeping in the same room, police said.

Dillard allegedly tried to explain the incident by saying she had a prescription for morphine and that it must have been transferred into her breast milk. She gave a voluntary a sample of milk, but doctors found such a high level of morphine that they were suspicious that the drug was added afterwards, according to the police.

The baby survived the scare, but since the dose was so high, officers charged Dillard with endangering the welfare of the minor, placing a controlled substance on the body of another person, and first-, second- and third-degree assault, Thompson said.

"Assault one has a minimum sentence of eight years," Thompson added.

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