VIDEO — Police: New Hampshire Daycare Workers Laced Children’s Food with Melatonin

Four home daycare workers in Manchester, New Hampshire, are accused of lacing children’s food with melatonin.

The owner and three staffers were allegedly putting the substance in children’s lunches while they were at the day care, located on Amory Street, according to law enforcement, WMUR reported on Thursday.

The suspects are the day care’s manager — 52-year-old Sally Dreckmann — and staffers — 51-year-old Traci Innie, 23-year-old Kaitlin Filardo, and 23-year-old Jessica Foster.

They each face ten counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

According to WebMD, melatonin is a hormone that the body makes. At nighttime, it tells a person’s body it is time for sleep. The melatonin found in supplements is normally lab-made:

Some people who have trouble sleeping have low levels of melatonin. It’s thought that adding melatonin from supplements might help them sleep. People most commonly use melatonin for insomnia and improving sleep in different conditions, such as jet lag.

The day care in question was reportedly unlicensed. However, some circumstances allow that, per the state’s law. Unlicensed day cares in New Hampshire may only care for three or fewer children at a time, per WMUR:

In the closing months of 2023, police received a tip from someone who had been inside the day care about the melatonin being given to the children without their parents’ knowledge or consent, and more tips came in during their investigation.

On Thursday, the suspects turned themselves in to law enforcement. They were eventually released and scheduled for a court date in June.

“Oh, yeah, if it was my child, I’d be extremely upset,” one neighbor told CBS Boston:

Manchester Police Department spokesperson Heather Hamel said, “This is something that is an over-the-counter drug that is usually used as a sleep aid that was given to these children with no knowledge of the parents’ and no consent. So, obviously, that’s concerning.”

“They don’t know how these children may react to it. They don’t know if they have an allergic reaction or even worse,” she added.

It is important to note that none of the children involved required medical attention as a result.


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