Nurse Arrested for Giving Daughter Unneeded Insulin for Attention

Nurse Arrested for Giving Daughter Unneeded Insulin for Attention July 21, 2019
Ellen Rupp-Jones is accused of harming her daughter because she had Munchausen-by-Proxy.

A Texas mother injected her daughter with unneeded insulin in an attempt to gain attention and money. Texas Rangers arrested Ellen “Elle” Rupp-Jones last month after an investigation determined the little girl did not have diabetes. Authorities believe the mother has Munchausen-by-Proxy.

According to a report on KLTV, police arrested Ellen Rupp-Jones following a months-long investigation into the care of her daughter. Authorities charged the mother with injury to a child. The inquiry against Rupp-Jones began on January 20, 2019, after an endocrinologist called the Department of Family Protection Services.

On January 20, 2019, Rupp-Jones took her daughter to the UT Health in Tyler, Texas and told doctors her daughter had blood sugar problems.

The mother told doctors that her daughter suffered from seizures due to low sugar levels. A nurse at the clinic requested that the mother to stay in Tyler. However, Rupp-Jones took her daughter to a neighboring hospital in Fort Worth.

A test performed at the hospital found that the girl had low blood sugar and high insulin levels. Doctors feared the mother poisoned the girl with insulin.

According to the criminal affidavit, doctors questioned the mother about the high insulin levels. The mother told the doctors that her daughter was diagnosed with diabetes in Kentucky.

Following the discussion with the mother, the hospital staff called the clinic in Kentucky. The Kentucky hospital said that they never performed any tests for diabetes on the girl. When Texas doctors learned the mother lied to them, they feared that Rupp-Jones had given her daughter unneeded insulin.

After doctors reported the potential poisoning to DFPS, the county placed the girl in foster care. DFPS forwarded the cased to Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, and Detective Michael Weber began his investigation.

Immediately, Detective Weber reached out to the girl’s father. The father told Weber that he had two children with Rupp-Jones. According to the father, Rupp-Jones complained that their son had hearing problems. As a result, the mother demanded their son have a special hearing device at school. When Weber asked the father about the girl’s health, the father denied the girl had diabetes, hypoglycemia, or suffered from seizures.

Additionally, the father told the detective that Rupp-Jones was an extremely attention-seeking person. He claimed she always lied about events in her life. The father said she claimed to be a veteran of the military. A search of military records confirmed she had never been enlisted. Also, the father contended that Rupp-Jones claimed to have cancer while she was pregnant with their child. However, the man never believed that she was pregnant.

During their divorce proceedings, the man said Rupp-Jones told the judge she had delivered a stillborn via c-section. However, the father provided the court with insurance and medical records indicating she had never been in the hospital. The mother also told the judge she had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor while she was pregnant. However, there were no records to show she had undergone surgery. A friend told the court that Rupp-Jones had a non-cancerous cyst removed from her ovaries.

After learning that Rupp-Jones lied about numerous aspects of her life, Weber interviewed her daughter. During the interview, the daughter said that she suffered seizures from low blood sugar. When Weber asked her to describe her seizures, she admitted she could never remember having any seizures.

“The victim stated ’That’s what I heard, I have a seizure.’ When asked if the victim remembered the seizure or is this something someone told her, the victim stated ‘I never knew when I had a seizure,’” according to the affidavit.

The girl said that her mother injected her with insulin. However, she stated that she never received insulin when she spent time at her father’s home. Additionally, the girl said that her mother got angry when she didn’t do what she said and would punish her by taking away her cell phone.

Then Weber spoke with the doctor at Cook’s hospital. The doctor told Weber that injecting unnecessary insulin into a patient can lead to death due to low blood sugar. Also, the doctor said they placed the girl in a room with a hidden camera. During her hospitalization, Rupp-Jones complained her daughter suffered seizures and vomiting. However, the video footage showed no evidence of either happening to the girl.

When Weber interviewed Rupp-Jones, she admitted to having attention-seeking behavior for herself. However, she denied she exhibited those behaviors with her daughter.

“I lied about my life to embellish my life a little bit better,” Rupp-Jones told Weber. “Sorry that my life is so (expletive) stupid and boring and nonchalant that I have nothing.”

After months of investigating, the police determined that Rupp-Jones deliberately injected her daughter with insulin for attention and money. Weber discovered that the mother had multiple GoFundMe’s to raise money for a diabetic service dog. However, the mother used the money to cover her everyday living expenses. A non-profit donated a dog to the girl in 2018.

Finally, in June, police arrested her for harming her daughter. She was booked into Anderson County Jail and faced years in prison. Police noted that since the girl’s removal from her mother’s care, she is eating a regular diet and does not need insulin. The girl is thriving and doing well.

An investigation by DFPS determined that Rupp-Jones suffered from Munchausen-By-Proxy. MBP is a disorder where a caregiver inflicts or fabricates illness on a child to receive attention and accolades. Individuals with MBP like to be seen as selfless, and martyrs for their selflessness in caring for a sick loved one. In many cases, individuals with MBP have a background in health care and are women. Rupp-Jones worked as a licensed nurse and knew how to manipulate her daughter’s symptoms.

Thankfully a doctor, in this case, determined that the little girl did not have diabetes. Due to the quick work by hospital staff, the girl was removed from her mother’s care and no longer harmed.

*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

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  • wannabe

    Recommended for outcome.

  • Clancy

    FYI, as the parent of a child with T1D, I can affirm that a child who has suffered a hypoglycemic seizure will not be able to remember that seizure. They have to be told after the fact, sometimes multiple times before they can retain the information.

  • Meanwhile, diabetics are having an extremely hard time getting insulin because the cost is ridiculously high.

  • some b*stard on the internet

    That’s what really enrages me about this! Rupp-Jones likely pounced on any potential gap in her daughters memory and gaslighted her into thinking she had a seizure!

  • Clancy

    If she were injected with insulin, she could genuinely have had a seizure. Each diabetic is different, but drive blood glucose below 30 mmol/dl, and a seizure is nearly certain.

  • They determined she had never had a seizure. Ever.

  • Clancy

    Well, then. Out of curiosity, how did they figure that out?

  • tatortotcassie

    Yeah, where did she even get the insulin from? Don’t you need a prescription for it? Was she stealing it from her work?

  • Probably stole it from work, and yes, you do need a prescription. People are literally dying because they can’t afford the cost.

  • Robert Baden

    Mother reported a seizure while in the hospital. There was a camera in the room that showed normal behavior.

  • Clancy

    Ah, I see. Thanks.

  • Callace

    This girl certainly needed to be removed from her mother, with this course of events. But foster care? Her father seems like a functional parent? Is there something I’m missing here?

  • persephone

    Because of the abuse, the local version of CPS is probably going to have tests done regarding her health, and they’ll probably do interviews with the child, grandparents, and father.

  • persephone

    This probably sounds awful, but this may be one good thing from the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case. Doctors not automatically accepting a parent’s claims, and using cameras where possible, to check on claims.

  • Terrie_S

    Walmart does offer one generic brand of an old style of insulin without a prescription for $25/vial. No good for those who that specific brand doesn’t suit their needs, but probably how mom managed it.