Mother’s strange behavior key to arrest

Case file against 33-year-old accused of killing 9-year-old daughter reveals chilling details

Mother’s strange behavior key to arrest

The arrest of a 33-year-old woman on Wednesday on charges she intentionally killed her 9-year-old daughter Georgina was preceded by a detailed analysis by police investigators who heard testimonies from nurses, staff and medical examiners at the hospital in the western city of Patra where the child died in late January.

The woman was arrested in her hometown of Patra and was transferred to Attica Police Headquarters (GADA), where she spent the night. Roula Pispirigou will remain at GADA until Monday.

An Athens prosecutor on Thursday gave her until Monday to prepare her defense. Also on Thursday, her mother and sister were summoned to GADA, while her estranged husband is also expected to receive a call.

Georgina died in hospital on January 29 and postmortem toxicology tests showed she had received ketamine, an anesthetic drug often used in animal surgeries, which had not been prescribed by her treating doctors.

According to the case file, “the only person who was in Georgina’s room for the last 20 minutes of her life, before the side effects of the drug kicked in, was her mother.”

Georgina died at noon, with her mother informing doctors at 2.30 p.m. that her daughter suffered cardiac arrest. A hospital nurse testified to police that she saw the accused approaching her in search of a nurse. She described, however, that the way she walked and the fact that she did not call for help initially gave her the impression that she wanted to ask her for a sheet or something similar. The nurse also said that the oximeter that had been placed on the child in order to notify staff in case of a drop in pulse had been mysteriously removed.

Staff also said that a day before the death, Pispirigou had told them, referring to her daughter’s heart condition, that they “had seen nothing yet” and that “the big episode has not taken place yet.”

Among the list of incidents that raised the suspicions of doctors and nursing staff was that Pispirigou had asked if there were security cameras in the rooms. What’s more, whenever Georgina experienced convulsions, bradycardia or other serious issues, she was alone in the hospital room with her mother. Her death, indicatively, occurred two days after the girl’s father, Manos Daskalakis, the estranged husband of Pispirigou, had left the hospital.

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