Mom Confesses to Killing Disabled Toddler by Feeding Him Hand Sanitizer

BELLA CHASSE, La. (CNN) — A Plaquemines Parish woman has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly poisoning her son with alcohol, hand sanitizer and perfume which led to his death in January.

At a press conference Wednesday, the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office says Erika Wigstrom confessed to poisoning 17-month-old Lucas Ruiz twice.

On January 24, first responders were called to Wigstrom’s home in regards to a child who was not breathing and had no pulse. Lucas was pronounced dead at the hospital that day.

hand-sanitizer-baby-death

Lucas Ruiz

An autopsy revealed Lucas had died from acute ethanol intoxication.

Detectives investigating his death first centered their case around Lucas’ father, Cesar Ruiz. Ruiz was arrested and charged in October for allegedly pouring rum down his son’s feeding tube.

At that time pediatric intensive care unit discovered the toddler had a blood alcohol level of 0.289.

On February 7, Ruiz was charged in Jefferson Parish for the crime of 2nd degree cruelty to a juvenile. His case is pending in Jefferson Parish 24th Judicial District Court.

In March, during an interview with detectives, Wigstrom, Lucas’ 20-year-old mother confessed to injecting hand sanitizer into her son’s feeding tube the day before he died.

Erika Wigstrom

Erika Wigstrom

Wigstrom also admitted to detectives that she injected perfume into Lucas’ feeding tube, while he was being treated at Ochsner Hospital in Jefferson in October.

According to the report, Wigstrom told detectives that her boyfriend, Cesar Ruiz, was not the person that poisoned Lucas in October and that she in fact was the person who injected and poisoned her son.

Wigstrom said she poisoned her son because she didn’t want to see him suffer any longer.

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18 comments

  • Skillpot

    It is a shame on High Society (mostly from the Catholic thinking) that this Mom could not have gotten some help with her child to have died with Dignity! Yes, it would be hard for me, most everyone, to do this, but, maybe the child should have been aborted? What seems fair to Society does not make it right for the future of the child to live in torment!

    • JA

      A rather unpopular opinion you have there, but I share it with you…

      Most people don’t understand how taxing, financially and emotionally, it can be to raise a disabled child. My aunt did, and enjoyed it, and I thought she was awesome for it, but it also made it painfully clear how difficult it can be on a lot of people. I don’t know what options there are for people in her position to get outside help. If there are some, and I’m sure there are, she should have gone that route.

      However, this is an example why I am “pro-choice.” This may have been something they could have detected in the womb, and could have ended differently than a child surely suffering and a mother going to jail.

      I completely disagree with how she handled the situation, but I understand how the stress could lead her to do what she did…

      • JA

        Those against choice tend to have a holier-than-thou attitude and put it on display whenever possible. At times, even arrogantly attempting to force them on everyone else.

        When tragedies happen, people often discuss ways to prevent similar tragedies in the future. I would like to see more assistance for parents that can’t handle their disabled children, and for women to be able to make the choices that would prevent such tragedies.

        I know you feel morally superior, enough so that you had to display it, but give it up.

  • Kate

    This is what happens when God is taken out of the equation as “Creator”. Life has no value so if it is inconvenient then just do away with it. It sounds to me like the parents are the ones who didn’t want to suffer any more for having to deal with a special needs child. This is such a cowardly act.

  • Debi Davis

    I may be wrong, but I do feel that there are many good people in this world who would gladly have taken this child . I am sure it is very hard to raise a handicapped child, but what she did was wrong. She definitely had choices. Who’s to saythat she wouldn’t have done the same thing if she had a child that wasn’t handicapped ? She will pay!!

  • DENISE E MCMINN

    THAT ISNT A MOTHER THATS A COLD BLOODED KILLER WITH NO HEART HE MIGHT OF BEEN HADICAPPED THAT DOSENT GIVE HER THE RIGHT TO KILL HER OWN SON IF SHE COULDNT HANDEL HIM THEN SHE COULDNT GOTTEN HELP OR GAVE HIM UP FOR ADOPTION AND GAVE THAT POOR BABY A CHANCE IN LIFE SHE WILL HAVE HER DAY OF PUNSHMENT .

    • Renee

      Being a mother I see where she THOUGHT it would be better for her son to be at peace…. Wasn’t he scheduled for surgery? And it seemed liked he was in the hospital on a consistent basis. It MAY have broken her heart to see her son go through so much pain being so young… BUT!!!’ It did NOT GIVE HER THE RIGHT TO TAKE HIS LIFE AWAY, A LIFE IS SOMETHING YOU CAN NEVER GIVE BACK.

  • April

    Debi, your right Im betting she would have done the same even if the child wasn’t a special needs child… Because it takes a truly evil person to do what she did, and evil isn’t going to discriminate against handicapped or not… Evil lady hope she gets whats coming to her…Rest in peace sweet baby boy…

  • Dorothy Ann Matheny

    I’m just shocked to death when I read this. My heart is broke. I have cancer an sent home to die. Hospice comes in 2 days a week that like my family gets tired of taking care of me and gives me sometime to take me away from here because they don’t want to see me suffer really! It was plain cold hearted an mean. Yes some of u are right that baby boy has a better parent taking care of him. You sweet baby boy rest in peace u can’t be hurt anymore. With love Dorothy For Hartselle

  • Sue

    Cute little boy. For him to have all this tragedy in his short life is too sad! Rest in peace little Angel!

  • Melodie Parrish

    Sweet little Angel – your are whole now, no more heart problems, no more Downs Syndrome. Your are now in the arms of THE FATHER that loves you unconditionally. It is so sad the you had to suffer in the hands of those that were trusted to raise you for whatever time you had on earth, I am sure that there is someone on earth that would have loved to be blessed to have you as their son.

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