Feeding bleach to baby was 'dumbest decision ... in my life'
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013 at 7:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 18, 2013 at 7:43 p.m.
The man who reportedly mixed bleach into his infant daughter's formula on Sunday morning said he was only trying to help her breathe easier with a home remedy he heard about from a friend.
Carron Washington, 20, spoke to about a dozen members of the media Monday afternoon in a hastily called news conference that was ended abruptly by a member of the Marion County Public Defender's Office.
"It's probably the dumbest decision I've made in my life," Washington said before the meeting ended.
Washington said his daughter, Cadlynn, had suffered from breathing problems since her birth on Dec. 14.
The girl was born with her esophagus detached from her stomach, which required surgery.
Washington said he would never intentionally hurt his daughter and only added less than a capful of bleach to about two ounces of her formula because a friend from school told him she used the remedy with her child.
Washington, who said he is a "pre-med" student at the College of Central Florida, said the friend was a classmate.
While old home remedies involving kerosene, whiskey and even urine are abundant, ingesting bleach is not common.
The girl's mother, Therese Roberts, was upset when Washington admitted he gave the girl bleach.
"The last time I talked to her was that night, before I got arrested... I told her I did it. She was emotional about it," said the soft-spoken Washington.
The baby was listed in stable condition at Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Monday afternoon, according to Lt. Billy Woods of the Ocala Police Department.
Attempts Monday to reach Roberts or members of her family were not successful.
Washington and Roberts live in separate units at the Sutton Place Apartments in the 500 block of Northeast 23rd Circle. Washington was staying at Roberts' apartment to help care for their baby.
On Saturday night and Sunday morning, the baby was fussy. After waking up at 1 a.m. Sunday, Washington put the bleach in the bottle and fed the child some of the formula, according to OPD reports.
The child vomited some of the liquid and started to cry.
"I panicked. I immediately called 911, called my parents, called her parents and started crying," Washington said.
The child was rushed to Munroe Regional Medical Center and then to Shands.
Initially, Washington denied putting the bleach in the bottle, OPD reports state.
"I was scared of losing her. I didn't think of all the cons," he said. "It's probably the dumbest decision I've made in my life."
Just more than five minutes after Washington began talking to the media, an unidentified woman with the Public Defender's Office quickly announced the interview was over and hustled Washington out of the room.
Just before the interview was interrupted, Washington professed his love for his daughter and said he hoped he would be able to see her again soon.
"If I can love anyone as God love us, that's pretty much how much I love her," he said. "I'll do whatever I have to do to see her."
Washington is being held without bond at the Marion County Jail on a charge of domestic aggravated child abuse.