A Washington State mom blinded her young daughter by repeatedly dousing her eyes with bleach, prosecutors said.
Jennifer Mothershead, 29, pleaded not guilty to first-degree assault of a child in Pierce County court on Monday.
Prosecutors accused Mothershead of squirting bleach into her 14-month-old's eyes for weeks after the girl was diagnosed with an eye infection in March 2011, KOMO television reported.
Mothershead told doctors at the time that the toddler had scratched her eye while playing in a barn and was given antibiotics and eye drops to treat the injury.
The mother’s behavior was later revealed in May 2011 when the tot was brought to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center with a major head injury.
Hospital workers there called the cops because they suspected the girl was being abused, and detectives quizzed Mothershead about why the girl's eyes were swollen shut.
A suspicious staff member eventually took a whiff of the eyedrops and noticed a strong, chemical smell, the station said.
Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ed Troyer told Q13 Fox that one detective gave the drops the baby-bottle test on his wrist — and wound up burning himself.
"We found one of the eye drop bottles of chemicals, which basically burned our detectives," Ed Troyer told the station.
"It obviously wasn't something that should be going in someone's eyes."
An FDA chemists later determined the eyedropper was filled with bleach.
“The staff at Harborview determined that the damage to the child's eyes was consistent with repeated exposure to bleach, and ruled out any possibility that the eye dropper had been merely cleaned with bleach," Pierce County prosecutors said in a statement.
Mothershead was arrested on Friday after a nearly year-long investigation. Her bail was set at $150,000.
The little girl, now 2, lost vision in her right eye, but her condition was said to be improved.
She now lives with her father.