An inquiry by officials with the Atlantic Community School District into how to best provide for a child with special needs resulted in an investigation that resulted in the arrest of the child’s mother. Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner revealed that information during a 20-minute press conference Friday afternoon, in Atlantic.
Leatha Kaye Slauson (Cass Co. Sheriff’s Office photo)
According to Feistner, the woman was arrested on two felony charges. 30-year old Leatha Kaye Slauson, of Atlantic was originally arrested Thursday on a single Class-D felony charge of Child Endangerment causing bodily injury. Feistner said since then, an additional charge of Distribution of drugs to a child under the age of 18, which is a Class B felony in the state of Iowa. Her preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 2nd at 2-p.m. Leatha Slauson was being held without bond in the Cass County Jail. If convicted on the charges, she faces up to 30-years in prison and fines amounting to $7,500.
Cass Co. Atty. Dan Feistner (Left) & Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green.
Feistner said Slauson is accused of distributing Cannabis Oil to her 4-year old daughter Riley. Leatha Slauson told the community of Atlantic her daughter was diagnosed last fall with terminal, metastatic colorectal cancer. The medical condition, as it turns out, was a hoax. That was determined through numerous sources and interviews with the child’s mother.
Numerous fundraising efforts were initiated to help the family with their medical and travel costs, and to help Riley attain her dream of visiting Disney World. Feistner said thousands of dollars have been raised for the family, but an exact amount was not known. Two websites established for the girl, however, have totaled over $7,600 in donations. Feistner said an investigation into the matter continues. The child’s father has not been charged and has cooperated with authorities. The Iowa Department of Human Services has been notified and the father currently has custody of Riley and her four other siblings.
Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green suggested citizens no longer donate to the Super Riley Fund established for the little girl, but that they should not stop contributing to other, legitimate causes.
Green, whose wife had cancer last year, contributed to Riley’s cause. Regardless of how hurt the community may be, he says he’s proud of Atlantic, and that “everybody’s gonna heal.”
A Facebook page dedicated to “Super Riley” in support of her alleged illness, was removed late Friday afternoon.