Police: Ohio day-care operator drugged pancakes to make children sleep
June 19, 2013 -- Updated 1109 GMT (1909 HKT)
- Tammy Eppley says she is mortified by the charges
- She says any text she sent about sedating a child was just her venting
- She has been charged with six counts of child endangerment
- None of the children were injured or made ill
(CNN) -- Getting children to take a nap can be hard. Getting them to eat pancakes is not nearly as difficult.
Police in Westerville, Ohio, say a 37-year-old mother operating a day care out of her home hit upon a plan -- she allegedly crushed medications that cause drowsiness and put them in the pancakes.
Tammy Eppley has been charged with six counts of child endangerment. Her first court date is July 12.
Eppley, who runs the Caterpillar Clubhouse, cared for six children -- including one of her own -- between the ages of 2 and 5, police said.
"This is mortifying. I'm a very private person and I'm very protective of my children and the children in my care," she said.
Investigators believe she used medications such as the allergy medicine Benadryl and supplements like melatonin to get the children to go to sleep, according to a statement from the Westerville Police.
She would say something to the effect of "I just gave them their nappy time medicine," Lt. Paul Scowden told CNN affiliate WCMH.
None of the children suffered any illness or injury related to the alleged drugging incident.
A former friend reported her to child protective services after she received a series of text messages from Eppley joking about sedating the kids.
Eppley has denied the charges, claiming she was just venting in the texts.
"It was just any frustrated parent that would say when they were frustrated," she said. "The kids are driving me crazy today, they're off the wall. I wish there was a drug like in sleeping beauty they would all just go to sleep."
She said she had given medications in the past, but only with parental permission.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 2357 GMT (0757 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
It's a very big challenge but NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan thinks it can be done.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
CNN's Atika Shubert explains how the most recent ISIS video differs from the other previous hostage execution videos.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1738 GMT (0138 HKT)
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
November 16, 2014 -- Updated 1720 GMT (0120 HKT)
Volunteer fighters in eastern Ukraine dig down just 800 meters from the front line.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1729 GMT (0129 HKT)
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1204 GMT (2004 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.