4 day care workers arrested for lacing children's food with melatonin: Police

ByJon Haworth ABCNews logo
Friday, May 17, 2024

A day care owner and three of her employees have been arrested after allegedly sprinkling melatonin on children's food, police say.

The incident began in November 2023 when police in Manchester, New Hampshire, received a report alleging "unsafe practices going on in an in-home daycare at 316 Amory Street," which led to a lengthy investigation, according to a statement released by the Manchester Police Department on Thursday.

"Through the investigation, police determined that the children's food was being sprinkled with melatonin without their parent's knowledge or consent," authorities said regarding the case.

"The hormone melatonin plays a role in the sleep-wake cycle. Natural levels of melatonin in the blood are highest at night. Some research suggests that melatonin supplements might be helpful in treating sleep disorders, such as delayed sleep phase. They also may provide some relief from insomnia and jet lag," according to the Mayo Clinic. "Melatonin is generally safe for short-term use. Unlike with many sleep medications, with melatonin you are unlikely to become dependent on it, have less response to it after repeated use or experience a hangover effect."

It is currently unclear how long the day care workers were dosing the children's food with the drug or how much they were giving them. Police also did not disclose how the practice was initially discovered.

Arrest warrants were issued for the owner, 52-year-old Sally Dreckmann, as well as 51-year-old Traci Innie, 23-year-old Kaitlin Filardo and 23-year-old Jessica Foster, all of whom hail from Manchester, police said.

The suspects turned themselves into police and all four of them were charged with 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The investigation into the case is currently ongoing.

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