Prosecutors allege a strained marriage led an Illinois woman to spike a toddler’s milk bottle with nail polish remover in an attempt to poison the 17-month-old girl that her husband had fathered with another woman.
The child was “a constant reminder of a forbidden relationship,” prosecutors claimed in a court filing, and Andrea Vazquez-Hernandez, 37, allegedly told police she wanted to “punish” her husband and the girl’s mother, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Vazquez-Hernandez is accused of aggravated battery and attempted aggravated battery in connection with the May 2016 incident at the home in Carol Stream, Illinois, that she shared with her husband, according to documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Vazquez-Hernandez has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail on $250,000 bond. An attorney for her could not immediately be identified.
“The allegations against this defendant are extremely disturbing,” DuPage County, Illinois, State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement announcing the charges, after Vazquez-Hernandez was arrested in May 2016.
“Thankfully the young victim in this case did not ingest any of the nail polish remover allegedly supplied by her stepmother,” Berlin said.
Vazsquez-Hernandez and her husband have a child of their own, but the girl was conceived by the husband and another woman while the couple went through a two-year separation.
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According to authorities, Carol Stream police first received a call on May 29, 2016, from Vazquez-Hernandez’s husband. After responding to the home, they learned that earlier that night he tried to give his daughter a bottle of milk and she “immediately spit out the contents,” prosecutors said in a statement.
The father took the girl to the hospital, where she was treated and released without injury.
Prosecutors said that “an investigation into the matter revealed that at some point in time earlier that day, the victim’s stepmother allegedly added approximately one inch of nail polish remover to the baby bottle.”
In court papers, prosecutors allege the husband’s relationship with the girl’s mother fueled strains in his marriage, which included an alleged physical altercation between Vazquez-Hernandez and her husband one month before the milk bottle incident.
DuPage County Judge Brian Telander on Thursday gave prosecutors permission to introduce evidence of that strain when Vazsquez-Hernandez goes on trial on May 17.