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Westerville Daycare Owner Charged with Drugging Kids

WESTERVILLE (Ken Hines) -- A daycare owner could spend more than a year in jail after allegedly slipping cold and allergy medication into the food she fed to children under her care.

Tammy Eppley was arrested and charged with six counts of child endangering after adding the medicine to pancake batter in order to make the children drowsy, according to police.

Eppley is also accused of feeding the supplement melatonin to the children, who range in age from two to five.

Police believe the alleged method of administration used by Eppley put the children at risk of serious medical consequences.

"You need to be able to measure those medications," Lt. Paul Scowden said. "You don't know if it is in one pancake or spread out, so it is dangerous."

The 37-year-old operates the Caterpillar Clubhouse from her home on Fairdale Ave. She cared for 6 children at the time of her arrest, including her 2-year-old daughter.

Eppley denies the charges, which she claims are the result of a personal issue involving the parent of one of the children in her care. She said she only administered medication to children at the request of their parents.

Investigators said they have uncovered evidence that contradicts Eppley's version of events.

Eppley faces up to 18 month behind bars if convicted of each misdemeanor count.
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