Madeline Roque told Phoenix’s KPNX last month that her 9-month-old daughter Adeline fell ill after consuming the contents of a package of baby formula she had purchased from Walmart. She said she fed her daughter three bottles before noticing something was wrong. She said her daughter had been crying, vomiting and passing a lot of gas.
“I just thought she was going through the teething process. She gets cranky,” Roque told the station. “On the fourth bottle, when I was making it, I did realize something was definitely wrong. The color was different, the texture was different, so I just knew it wasn’t milk.”
Roque said she then let the bottle sit and noticed the mixture separated—something that doesn’t usually happen with formula. She said she then realized the mixture smelled like flour.
“And then when I poured it the bottle into the sink I saw how it got, that’s when it hit me,” Roque said. “I saw how it clumped up and I’m like oh my god my daughter’s stomach is just the same or worse.”
“You don’t know they’re allergic if her throat had closed up from a gluten reaction,” she said. Roque said she reported the incident to Walmart. Walmart told KPNX that it is against store policy to place returned packages of formula back on shelves but the store will investigate Roque’s claim.
Last month, an Arizona couple was arrested after allegedly running a baby formula theft ring that earned them nearly a half of million dollars income, according to a new report by WCNC’s investigative team. In 2017, another Arizona woman was arrested for allegedly returning tainted baby formula to two Walmart stores in Tucson in a scheme to make money.
Jennifer LaPlante, 30, pleaded guilty to felony charges of child abuse and fraudulent schemes in September 2017 after allegedly buying baby formula and replacing the formula with flour and other substances before returning the containers for refunds. Authorities said one child was hospitalized but recovered.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.