CUMBERLAND, Ind. — A Cumberland Daycare worker was arrested for giving children melatonin.
Tonya Voris worked for New Life Church’s Kidz Life Childcare Ministry as their daycare director. A probable cause affidavit says that Voris dosed 17 children with melatonin gummies.
Melatonin is an over-the-counter supplement, not regulated by the FDA, to help induce sleep.
Police said they were first alerted by the Pastor of New Life Church when he discovered what was happening. They say that Voris not only gave the 17 children ages 1 to 4 melatonin multiple times starting in December, but also encouraged other employees at the daycare to do the same.
The probable cause affidavit says, “Voris dispensed the Melatonin Gummies to forcefully induce sleep in several children for her personal gain in not having to deal with fussy or problematic children who would not sleep during ‘naptime.”
Parents spoke to police, then said that they noticed troubling behaviors and symptoms in their children. They would have trouble sleeping – sometimes immediately wanting to go to bed when they went home – and children would be irritable.
When interviewed by police, Voris admitted to giving the children melatonin, but also pled not guilty on Monday to 17 charges of Neglect of a Dependent and Reckless Supervision by a Child Care Provider.
The judge gave Voris a no-contact order with all children. Voris was sent to jail, but then was released on a $15,000 bond.
Voris has been fired from her position at the daycare.
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