Belle Chasse mother charged in poisoning death of 17-month-old Son

Belle Chasse mother charged in poisoning death of 17-month-old Son

POSTED: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 5:34pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 6:00pm

The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s office reported that a 20-year-old mother from Belle Chasse has been charged for murdering her 17-month-old son.

EMS rushed the baby, Lucas Ruiz, to the hospital on Friday, January 24, after an emergency notice that the boy was not breathing and had no pulse.

Lucas Ruiz was taken to two hospitals, and was eventually pronounced dead at the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.

On March 7, the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office gave an autopsy report that said the baby’s blood alcohol content level was about .280 g/%. The cause of death was determined to be acute ethanol intoxication, and the manner of death was homicide.

Cesar Ruiz, the baby’s father, had been arrested for a prior poisoning incident of Lucas that happened on October 27, 2012. The baby was awaiting heart surgery at the time.

In the 2012 incident, it was alleged that Cesar Ruiz poisoned the baby bow with rum while he was in the hospital.

Cesar Ruiz also allegedly confessed to the poisoning and was then arrested for attempted first degree murder.

On February 7, 2013, the father was charged with second degree cruelty to a juvenile. His case is pending in Jefferson Parish 24th Judicial District Court.

On Monday, March 11, 2014, PPSO Detectives interviewed Lucas’ mother, Erika Wigstrom.

According to police, Wigstrom confessed to injecting hand sanitizer in Lucas’ feeding tube prior to feeding him on January 23, 2014.

Police say Wigstrom also admitted to injecting perfume into the boy’s feeding tube while he was being treated at the hospital on October 16, 2012. She told detectives that Cesar Ruiz was not the person who poisoned Lucas in 2012.

Wigstrom told investigators that she injected alcohol into Lucas’ feeding tube on both occasions because she didn’t want him to suffer any longer.

Wigstrom was arrested and booked for first degree murder.  

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