A Missouri mother has confessed to stealing opioid painkillers intended for her terminally-ill daughter, and instead taking the drugs herself, according to police.
Medical workers caring for the dying 20-year-old woman called police Monday because they were worried the patient’s mother, Carol Ballweg, wasn’t giving her daughter the oxycodone and fentanyl prescribed to treat her pain, Troy police said in a press release Wednesday.
Those concerns were well-founded: A urine test on the dying patient from Sept. 7 revealed that there were “no signs of her prescribed medication in her system,” according to police.
Medical staff caring for the woman, who is in hospice care, decided to stop filling her prescription for the drugs, police said.
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Police searched Ballweg’s home on Tuesday. She confessed that she has an opioid addiction, and admitted that she had been stealing her daughter’s oxycodone to consume herself, police said.
Ballweg was charged Wednesday with two counts of abusing a vulnerable person and four counts of stealing a controlled substance, police said. Her bond was set at $100,000 cash.
If Ballweg is released from custody, she’s barred from having contact with her daughter, police said.
Medical staff and home health care workers have previously reported suspicions about the terminally-ill woman’s care to a hotline, including concerns that Ballweg repeatedly asked for her daughter’s fentanyl and oxycodone prescriptions ahead of schedule, police said.
Caregivers said the daughter had also developed bedsores, police said.
Because of those previous suspicions and neglect reports, a Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services investigation was already underway when law enforcement became involved this week, police said.