Tammy Eppley, 37, was charged Monday with six misdemeanor counts of endangering children, including her 2-year-old daughter, after Westerville law enforcement officials said they found evidence that she laced pancake batter with crushed Benadryl and the sleep aid hormone melatonin.
She may have also put Benadryl, which can make recipients drowsy, into their sippy cups, Westerville cop Lt. Paul Scowden said.
“Tammy was bragging about how they were all perfectly still and being quiet or asleep,” said a cop report describing a video Eppley recorded on her cellphone and sent to a friend.
The friend tipped off authorities.
The report also states that the kids — ages 2 to 5 — had an inkling about the tampered treats that she served out of her home-based day care, the Caterpillar Clubhouse.
“Tammy jokes about one of the children almost discovering her actions by remarking that the sprinkles on some cupcakes tasted funny,” investigators wrote.
Eppley denied the charges in a phone interview, saying cops are “obsessed” with pursing the charges against her. She said she did have some children who were hyperactive, but only provided drugs to them after getting permission from their parents.
None of the children are believed to have suffered any injuries or illnesses because of the medication.
The witch acknowledged making light of the drugs in text messages to a friend, but said she was only joking.
Eppley described the comments as “very tongue-in-cheek.”
“It was, ‘Good grief, I wish these kids would go to sleep, I wish I could drug them,’” she said.
“I do regret making that comment, obviously,” she said. “It was not, ‘I did it.’”
Westerville law enforcement Detective Richard Tiburzio said he stands by the investigation and there is other evidence in the case.
The Franklin County Children Services had done their own probe in May.
“Such cases of allegations made against teachers or day care workers are appropriately assessed by Children Services for their validity but in this case we are no longer investigating,” the agency said in a statement.
Eppley wasn’t required to have a child-care license because she was caring for only six children, including her own, at her home.
She told local media that she never would have intentionally harmed her charges.
“My whole heart feels good when I’m with them,” Eppley said.