Kristy Schneider from Alexander, Ark. has been charged with lying to doctors about her adopted son’s faked illness. She and her husband, Erik Schneider, lost custody of the boy, Louie, after subjecting him to unnecessary medical treatments and profiting off of donations.
She has been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree and officials believe that she suffers from Munchausen by proxy syndrome. The condition causes caregivers to “intentionally harm or describe non-existent symptoms in their children to get the attention given to the family of someone who is sick.”
The syndrome was made famous in the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, whose mother had Munchausen by proxy syndrome and spent years subjecting her daughter to cruel medical treatments. The horror stopped when Blanchard and her secret boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, killed her mother.
Thankfully for young Louie, his experience with Munchausen by proxy never got to that point. Kristy Schneider believed that her son had a “mysterious illness,” that impacted his chromosomes and put him in constant pain. Doctors prescribed him high doses of morphine and fentanyl for this alleged pain.
The police investigation into the neglect started in 2019 when officials got wind that Kristy Schneider and her husband were lying about the boy’s condition and his level of pain. She turned herself in last Tuesday when a bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
Erik and Kristy Schneider lost custody of their son – whom they adopted in 2015 – in 2019 when the courts ruled that they were unfit parents. Six doctors spoke in court and provided testimony that supported the reports of neglect.
“She presented false information to medical experts which led to unnecessary medication and medical procedures being administered,” court documents revealed.
While Louie was under their care, he was bound to a wheelchair and at one point could only use a feeding tube. Evidence reported in court showed that after removing Louie from the home he was able to walk and eat normally.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says that “It’s sad and it’s sickening that parents would put their own child at risk, at health risk, for their own profit … it’s unbelievable.”
In a lawsuit filed against the couple, they raised over $31,000 for their son through charitable donations. It is unclear what these funds were used for. At one point, the Arkansas woman had set up end-of-life care for her son. She arranged for local police officers to line the street on the way to the hospice care facility and salute her son on what she said were his last couple days of life.
A month after that arrangement, 9-year-old Louie was discharged from the hospital. At the time, Kristy Schneider posted a lot about her son’s mysterious illness on her blog and Facebook page. Both of them have been deleted since the truth was revealed. She would use these social media posts to bring nationwide attention to her son’s condition and facilitate donations.
Kristy Schneider has been released from jail on a $10,000 bond and is set to appear in court on August 4.