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Family: Jailed woman has postpartum psychosis

Partner remains in critical condition

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

SAVANNA – A Kansas woman who was shot by Savanna police after she hit her partner with her vehicle and then drove into a house last week was suffering from postpartum psychosis, her brother wrote in an email to Sauk Valley Media.

Allana D. Hill, 21, remains in Carroll County Jail on $200,000 bond.

Hill gave birth Oct. 11, her mother, Cynthia Hill, said in a phone interview. She was released from the hospital but soon was not sleeping, was seeing things, and generally was acting strangely, she said.

Allana Hill was admitted with high blood pressure to a different hospital Oct. 20, and she was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis, a rare, more extreme form of postpartum depression, her brother, Robert Hill, wrote in his email.

Her partner, Kevin H. Belgarde, 41, made “repeated unauthorized visits, which were boisterous and disruptive” to the hospital, Robert Hill wrote. Hospital staff were concerned his visits were detrimental to her health and called her mother and Child Protective Services, he wrote.

Belgarde returned to the hospital Oct. 22, Robert Hill wrote. He demanded Allana Hill be released immediately and persuaded hospital staff to permit her to check out, despite her “unstable mental and physical condition,” he wrote.

Belgarde, with Allana Hill and their infant daughter in tow, fled, said Cynthia Hill, who had made the trip from California to Kansas after she got the phone call from the hospital.

“He went to their apartment and, the neighbor said, left with a suitcase and just said, ‘We’re going to get a hotel and think things over,’” she said. “I knew they were getting ready to leave.”

A Savanna police officer stopped a couple in a Jeep Cherokee for a traffic violation at 4:07 a.m. Oct. 24, on state Route 84, about 3 miles south of Savanna, according to Illinois State Police.

They were taking the man, who state police have declined to identify but who the Hill family says is Belgarde, into custody when Hill drove off, turned around, came back and hit him, then took off again.

The officer shot at the Jeep and hit it and Hill; she crashed the Jeep into a house in rural Carroll County a short time later. Officers at the crash scene found the infant in the back seat; she was turned over to the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Hill and Belgarde were taken to Mercy Hospital in Clinton, Iowa. Belgarde later was taken to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, where he was in critical condition Tuesday afternoon.

The Savanna police officer, Jacob Stillings, was taken to CGH Medical Center in Sterling, treated for bruises and scrapes, and released; he is on administrative leave during the investigation, Savanna Police Chief Michael Moon said.

Stillings was not hit by the vehicle, Illinois State Police Lt. Kurt Cavanaugh said, but he did engage in an altercation before the accident, Moon said.

Hill is charged with aggravated battery, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated reckless driving, aggravated battery using a deadly weapon, and aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude, the Illinois State Police said in a news release. She also is charged with driving under the influence of drugs, according to online court records. She has been assigned a public defender, Cynthia Hill said.

Charges are pending against Belgarde, state police said.

Belgarde has known Allana Hill since she was 8 years old because he had dated her mother, Cynthia Hill. Belgarde and Allana Hill have been dating and living together for more than 3 years, her mother said.

He persuaded her to leave her home in California for Kansas in 2009, when she turned 18, she said.

Cynthia Hill spoke to her daughter on the phone from her jail cell Sunday.

“She was very different,” she said. “She clearly was still under hypnosis.”

Cynthia Hill said she and her family plan to help Allana Hill work through her criminal court case, then get her help for her mental health issues. Cynthia Hill also has petitioned for custody of her granddaughter.

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