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Sominex in the sippy-cup: Calif. day-care worker charged with drugging toddlers

- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 14, 2013

A day-care worker at a California facility has been fired and charged with child endangerment after coworkers reported she spiked toddlers' sippy cups with sleeping medication.

The worker, 59-year-old Deborah Gratz, allegedly admitted to a co-worker that she added Sominex to the children's cups to help put them to sleep, KION News reports. Kiddie Academy Childcare workers then fired her and contacted police.

My FOX 8 reports police have been somewhat hindered in their investigation because day-care workers poured the suspicious liquid down the sink after they called police. But on Monday, police arrested Mr. Grantz and charged her with child endangerment, KION News says.

Parents are puzzled by Ms. Gratz's alleged actions.

"That's my son's favorite teacher. He always asked for her," said parent Maria Esparza, in the KION News report.

Police told KION News that the children didn't actually drink from the cups. But they are investigating whether Ms. Gratz has added sleeping medicine on prior occasions.

Police said none of the toddlers drank the allegedly contaminated water on Friday. But they're investigating whether this has happened before.

"What we would like to know is, is there any tell-tale signs that they've seen now that they know? Were their kids excessively tired or lethargic?" said one police spokesman, in the KION News report.

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