Candida Fluty is charged with two counts of felonious assault and two counts of endangering a child
To those on the outside, Candida Fluty seemed like a devoted single mom. She spent her days caring for her sick 9-year-old son, Elijah, as he battled Hischsprung disease, a rare congenital blockage of his large intestine.
Caring for Elijah had become a full-time job. Earlier this month, Fluty and her son traveled 190 miles from their West Virginia home to Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital for treatment.
But now prosecutors say that Fluty was actually making her son sicker. Cincinnati police arrested her on Jan. 17 after she “knowingly injected a substance into the victim’s peripheral IV line,” court documents state. The foreign substance caused the boy’s fever to spike.
On Tuesday, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced that a grand jury had indicted Fluty on two counts of felonious assault and two counts of endangering children.
In a radio interview with 700 WLW, Deters said that the boy’s condition was real, but Fluty intensified the symptoms. He claimed that Fluty was caught on surveillance video filling a syringe with the fecal material from a colonscopy bag and injecting it into her son’s intravenous line.
What would prompt a mom to knowingly make her son sick? Deters alleges that Fluty wanted attention. “We don’t believe her intent was to kill the child,” he said. “We believe her intent was to make him sick, and she succeeded.”
One thing is clear: Fluty did get a lot of attention because of her son’s illness. In December, the Cincinnati Bengals sent them to a game. Friends held multiple fundraisers to help offset the family’s medical bills.
At the bond hearing, defense attorney Elizabeth Zucker asked that Fluty be allowed to spend time with her son. “This is a total misunderstanding,” Zucker said. “He is only 9 years old and I’m sure he’s scared to death being in the hospital without his mother.”
The judge set bond at $50,000. Fluty posted bond and returned to her home in West Virginia. She could face eight years in prison if convicted of all charges.
Elijah is in the custody of West Virginia Children’s Services.
Prosecutor Deters says that Elijah is lucky to be alive. “Although rare, we have seen similar cases with similar motivations,” he said. “I’m just grateful that it was caught before we were confronted with a murder case.”