CASSELBERRY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
A Casselberry mother was arrested Tuesday night for child neglect for allegedly refusing to take her newborn to the hospital.
According to a Casselberry Police Department report, Sarah Anne Markham cited a desire to “pursue a religion based treatment” for her child and refused to give the baby the formula that the doctor provided her, because “she did not agree with the ingredients it contained, as they came from animals.”
Police said a pediatrician told Markham at 9 a.m. on Tuesday that her newborn needed to be admitted to Florida Hospital immediately and had a bed prepared.
“When it was found out that the child didn't arrive at the hospital, someone called it in to the abuse hotline and then child protective services notified us,” said Casselberry Police Department spokeswoman Kristine Pamatian.
According to the report, the doctor told Markham the baby was dehydrated and losing weight rather than gaining weight as it should be.
"The mother was told this around 9 a.m. [Police] didn't receive the call until 6:27 at night,”Pamatian said.
Investigators say Markham was uncooperative when they went to her home.
According to the report, Markham told investigators she was aware the doctor told her to have the baby admitted but wanted a treatment aligned with her religion, didn’t believe the baby was dehydrated, and had contacted a “natural” or “vegan” doctor for a second opinion.
The report states that Markham could not provide any information about the doctor, except for his name. Police said Markham eventually agreed to take the baby to the hospital, but because she stalled for 45 minutes after conceding, officers arrested her.
The state took custody of the baby and the child was taken immediately to Florida Hospital.
The police report lists Markham’s religion as Seventh-Day Adventist.
Florida Hospital’s website states that “because of our faith as part of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, we focus on healing the whole person — mind, body, and soul.”
Markham bonded out of the Seminole County Jail on Wednesday.