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Police: Ohio day-care operator drugged pancakes to make children sleep

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Ambien BottleWESTERVILLE, Ohio — Getting children to take a nap can be hard. Getting them to eat pancakes is not nearly as difficult.

Police in Westerville, Ohio, say a 37-year-old mother operating a day care out of her home hit upon a plan — she allegedly crushed medications that cause drowsiness and put them in the pancakes.

Tammy Eppley has been charged with six counts of child endangerment. Her first court date is July 12.

Eppley, who runs the Caterpillar Clubhouse, cared for six children — including one of her own — between the ages of 2 and 5, police said.

“This is mortifying. I’m a very private person and I’m very protective of my children and the children in my care,” she said.

Investigators believe she used medications such as the allergy medicine Benadryl and supplements like melatonin to get the children to go to sleep, according to a statement from the Westerville Police.

She would say something to the effect of “I just gave them their nappy time medicine,” Lt. Paul Scowden told CNN affiliate WCMH.

None of the children suffered any illness or injury related to the alleged drugging incident.

A former friend reported her to child protective services after she received a series of text messages from Eppley joking about sedating the kids.

For more on this CNN story, click here.

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  • cdc

    Real news does not need sensationalism. Why the picture of a very powerful drug like Ambien when the story talks about "alleged" use of OTC drug? It is egregious in its own right and doesn't need any enhancement. When you sensationalize, it tends to diminish the reliability of ALL your reporting. Please knock it the hell off and return to good, solid reporting. Thank you.

    • Esco

      In other cities a picture of the lady is on the article and she's very attractive. Her looks are distracting the bloggers away from the topic. On the CNN link provided here it says Benedryl and a melatonin supplement were used in this concoction..

  • nikki

    exactly what I was thinking that is very misleading because if she were giving them ambien it would be a whole different scenario…..
    I know alot of people that give their kids melatonin to help them get a better nights rest