Mother accused of poisoning daughter, 4, with salt

HARRIS COUNTY - A local mother is facing charges after authorities say she poisoned her daughter with salt.

Katie Alice Ripstra, 31, is charged with injury to a child/serious bodily injury and aggravated assault.

Court documents state Ripstra's 4-year-old daughter was admitted to Texas Children's Hospital on several occasions in 2013 to be treated for extremely high levels of sodium.

During one of the hospital admissions, the girl was treated in an intensive care unit for three days, according to court records.

Court documents state on a hospital visit in early August, the girl had been released after a two-day stay at the hospital with normal sodium levels, only to return one day later unconscious with a severe brain injuries and high sodium levels.

After that visit, the girl was removed from Ripstra's custody and custody was granted to a guardian.

Officials say the girl has not had any issues with her sodium levels since being placed in the guardian's care.

Ripstra is free on a $30,000 bail bond pending trial.

Texas Children's Hospital released the following statement Thursday:

"We are aware that a former Texas Children's employee is being charged in this case.  At this point, this is in the court's hands and we cannot comment on the case.  We can confirm the individual in question was terminated from Texas Children's Hospital.  Unfortunately, due to the confidential nature of employment matters, we cannot share details on why this action was taken.  What we can tell you is that Texas Children's Hospital values our employees and the important work they accomplish each day in keeping our patients safe and healthy. At this time, it would be inappropriate for the hospital to provide additional comment related to this issue."

Back in 2012, an Humble man was accused of torturing the son of his live-in girlfriend. Investigators say he poured salt down the 4-year-old boy's mouth.

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