Canyon County

Police say Caldwell mom fed baby just Kool-Aid and diluted milk

Tiffany Knapp
Tiffany Knapp

Tiffany Knapp is charged with felony injury to a child after Caldwell police officers and child protection workers found her baby girl near death due to malnourishment.

Police records say that on March 8, officers from the Caldwell Police Department responded to a home where child protection workers from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare had been following up on “ongoing concerns” for the baby’s safety.

The baby was “severely malnourished and underweight,” and an officer spoke to Knapp and the baby’s stepfather, who both were the primary caretakers.

The stepfather’s name was not provided in public records. It is unclear whether he has been or could be charged as well.

The baby was born three months premature and had trouble gaining weight since birth. As a result, the infant was prescribed special formula, which the parents were supposed to obtain from medical supplier Norco or a pharmacy. They did not get the formula or call the doctor’s office, the police records said.

“When asked why she had not filled the prescription, [Knapp’s] responses were inconsistent, first stating she hadn’t received a prescription, then later stating she was aware of the prescription but ‘just spaced it,’” and the parents failed to provide any accurate medical information about the baby, the police report said.

Police found that the baby’s pediatrician had admitted her to the hospital at four months because she was “significantly underweight.” She put on weight in the hospital and was discharged to home, where her parents never picked up the special formula, Neosure Expert, despite the doctor’s instructions that she needed it “to thrive and continue to be healthy.”

The officer’s report said that instead of formula, the infant was receiving “Kool-Aid and diluted whole milk as nourishment.”

At the time, the 8-month-old baby weighed 11 pounds, which was much lower than it should have been, the report said. The officer declared the baby “in imminent danger” and put her in the state’s custody on March 8. She was taken to West Valley Medical Center’s emergency room.

The baby “would have likely died of malnutrition within days of being seen, had she not received medical attention due to lack of nutrition and proper care,” the police report said.

The baby gained more than four pounds in 20 days after she entered foster care, it said.

Knapp was charged Sept. 21 and arraigned Tuesday. The county needed six months to thoroughly investigate the case before charging Knapp, according to a county spokesman.

Knapp is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 11 before Judge John Meienhofer.

Audrey Dutton: 208-377-6448, @IDS_Audrey