Scientology Crime Syndicate

Mother charged with murder by omission by starving baby
Body never picked up three months after baby's death
Posted Friday, October 20, 2000 - 9:09:49 PM HST

HILO - Three months after her baby daughter died of malnutrition last year, a Big Island woman accused of murdering the baby by neglecting her still had not picked up the child’s body from the Hilo Hospital morgue, court documents say. When a mortuary offered a free burial for 2-1/2-month-old Manjara Mulder, her mother Saraswati Mulder turned it down, the documents say.

An autopsy on the painfully thin body of Manjara showed that the baby died of malnutrition. "sara” Mulder, 22, told the hospital she wanted an independent autopsy, which would cost $2,000. She said she was saving for it at the rate of $2 per month. This week a grand jury indicted Mulder, saying she committed murder by omission by failing to nourish the child and failing to get prompt medical help.

Deputy Prosecutor Lincoln Ashida says authorities believe Mulder has left the country. When red-haired Manjara was born Aug. 9, 1999 to her Hare Krishna devotee mother, doctors noted that the child’s birth was easy, her weight was a normal 7 pounds, 10.5 ounces, and tests showed she was healthy.

But Mulder was convinced there were a number of health problems were her and the child. Two of her three previous children had died. Believing a doctor had injured Manjara’s neck at birth, Mulder didn’t trust Hilo Hospital. When her baby had repeated episodes of diarrhea and vomiting, Mulder took her to chiropractors. A chiropractic adjustment of her Manjara’s neck seemed to bring immediate relief from the vomiting and diarrhea, the court documents say. But the sickness continued.

By the beginning of October, it was clear to a husband and wife who knew Mulder that the baby was very sick, they told police. The husband realized Mulder had been lying when she said she took the baby to a medical doctor. The wife told her, “You gotta take your baby to a doctor.” Mulder clearly needed some kind of counseling, the wife told police.

The wife and two other women planned to pick up Mulder and take her and the baby to Hilo Hospital. But when they called Mulder the next day, she had moved. Mulder was now living with another friend, who later told police she tried to help the quiet Mulder “make choices.” The friend told police they fed the baby food like “almond milk” - water strained through crushed almonds.

When Mulder and the friend brought the baby to naturopathic doctor Jacqueline Hahn, Hahn said she had to get the talkative friend out of the room before Mulder could speak for herself. The baby was “obviously emaciated,” Hahn said. Hahn told Mulder if the baby’s diarrhea continued, she would not survive, and insisted Mulder take the child to a pediatrician.

The following evening, the baby died. The baby weighed 6 pounds - 1 pound, 10.5 ounces less than when she was born. When a paramedic at Mulder's home asked Mulder if wanted to take one last look at the baby before he took her away, Mulder answered, "No. I just want to know the results of the autopsy."


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