Three females daycare employees were arrested last week after the Des Plaines police received a tip regarding a “suspicious incident.”
According NBC 5, the employees were allegedly giving the kids who were enrolled at the Kiddie Junction Daycare Center in Des Plaines, Illinois gummy bears before their nap time.
But they weren’t regular gummy bears. According to police, the gummy bears were laced with the over-the-counter sleeping aid Melatonin. The use of the drug was not approved by the children’s parents, however, the employees told the police that they didn’t think it was “inappropriate” to administer the laced gummy bears because they were over-the-counter meds.
As ABC 7 reports, the women reportedly handed out the gummy bears to a group of two-year-olds in order to “calm [the kids] down before nap time.”Des Plaines Police
The employees, who were later identified as 32-year-old Kristen Lauletta, 19-year-old Jessica Heyse, and 25-year-old Ashley Helfenbein, were each charged with two counts of endangering the life or health of a child and two counts of battery.
They are expected to appear in court on April 4.
Police Commander Christopher Mierzwa told the Daily Herald that it was another daycare worker who called in the tip. Mierzwa said he is unsure of how long the employees have been handing out the laced gummy bears.
He added that the parents of the children affected by the incident have been notified. As far as he could tell, none of the children were seriously harmed:
“We spoke with every single parent that had a child in the day care, and only one could recall their child being groggy after being picked up.”
Kiddie Junction Daycare Center has yet to release a statement on the matter, but according to NBC 5, authorities say that management has been “helpful” during the investigation.