Illinois day care workers allegedly gave kids melatonin-laced gummy bears

DES PLAINES, Ill. -- Three teachers at an Illinois day care have been charged after police said they distributed gummy bears containing melatonin to kids without parental consent.

Officers arrived last Friday afternoon to the Kiddie Junction Daycare Center at 1619 E. Oakton St. in Des Plaines after a report of a suspicious incident.

Police said that gummy bears containing melatonin were given to a class of 2-year-olds to get them to calm down before nap time without parental authorization.

Police said that three teachers admitted distributing melatonin to the children and did not think it was inappropriate as they were an over-the-counter sleep aid.

The parents of each child at the day care were contacted by police about the situation.

The three teachers, 32-year-old Kristen Lauletta of Niles, 19-year-old Jessica Heyse of Des Plaines and 25-year-old Ashley Helfenbein of Chicago, have each been charged with two counts of endangering the life or health of a child and two counts of battery. They are scheduled to appear in court on April 4.

Police said management at Kiddie Junction was helpful and assisted with the investigation.
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