An Ohio day care worker was formally charged with six counts of child endangerment, which included a practice of sprinkling drugs into snacks she fed the children she watched to make them nap.
Police arrested the woman, Tammy Eppley, after acquiring text messages and videos sent on her phone in which she openly talks about giving the children ground up pills in their snacks.
Reports say she used Benadryl, an allergy drug known to cause drowsiness, and melatonin, a hormone known to aid sleep.
Many of the messages Eppley sent were described by a police report as casual and lighthearted. Sometimes they were “jokes” or involved her “bragging about how they were all perfectly still and being quiet or asleep.”
In once message, the Ohio day care worker joked about how one of the children almost discovered the drugs after claiming that some of the sprinkles on his cupcake tasted “funny.”
Westerville, Ohio police Detective Richard Tibuzio also said in an interview Monday that Eppley would frequently mix crushed Benadryl into pancake batter or juice. Tibuzio has said there is other evidence in his case and that the investigation will continue.
The Caterpillar Clubhouse employee, Tammy Eppley, has denied these charges. She claims that she only administered the drugs after gaining the parents’ permission. Eppley’s own child was also among the children she supposedly drugged.
Eppley has stated that Det. Tibuzio was “obsessed” with trying to find ways to charge her.
She’s also denied the content of the seized text messages, saying they have been misrepresented saying, “It was ‘Good grief, I wish these kids would go to sleep, I wish I could drug them.’ I do regret making that comment obviously. It was not, ‘I did it.'”
If Tammy Eppley is found guilty of these charges she will be the third Ohio day care worker found to be drugging her children to get them to sleep since 2010.
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