Daycare Workers Drugged Kids To Put Them To Sleep

Jordan Darnell, Kristin Clark, Jaime Clark and Ethan Pulley pictured from left to right
Stewart County Sherriff's Office | Stewart County Sherriff's Office

News & Politics
Jessica Powers

It isn't totally unusual for parents to arrive at daycare to find some sleepy children after a long day.

But several parents noticed their children were even more tired than usual, leading to the arrest of four daycare workers in Tennessee who reportedly drugged the kids.

Four Charged For Drugging The Children

A daycare setting
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Tennessee investigators charged Jaime Clark, 45, Kristin Clark, 22, and Jordan Darnell, 22, of now-closed MiMi’s Daycare in Indian Mound, Tennessee, on May 5 with child abuse and neglect following. They reportedly dosed 26 children with high doses of melatonin. Ethan Pulley, 21, was charged with fabricating/tampering with evidence.

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that encourages sleep. Some people take supplements to sleep better that can be purchased over the counter.

Police Learned About The Allegations

police lights
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Reports of child abuse and neglect started to come in in March following their suspicions. The parents hired a lawyer who helped bring the case to the attention of investigators.

A Whistleblower Came Forward With Information

a whistleblower came forward.
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An attorney representing nine of the 26 children who were allegedly overdosed told FOX 17 Nashville that a whistleblower told his team the people were giving the children exceedingly high doses of melatonin.

"There was a whistleblower who came forward and talked to us early this week and told us she worked there for a day and during her employment they requested she give the students three 10 milligram melatonin gummy bears with their lunch," attorney Rocky McElhaney told FOX 17. "She didn't feel comfortable with that. She didn't do it and she didn’t report for her job the next day."

The Sheriff’s Department Sheds Light On The Case

The children were extra sleepy.
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Stewart County Sheriff’s Detective Dana Saltkill said parents reported they would often be unable to wake their children when they picked them up at the end of the day.

"When they would pick them up, they would sleep all the way home and sometimes reports of children staying up most of the night, so their sleeping habits are off," she told People magazine earlier this month. "They also made some disclosures that there was melatonin going on at lunchtime at the daycare center."

Investigators said the children ranged in age from infants to six years old and this had been going on for at least two years.

The children were reportedly receiving doses as high as two times more than what an average adult would take to try to help with sleep.

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