Daycare workers charged with giving melatonin-laced gummy bears to toddlers

Jessica Heyse (left), Kristen Lauletta (middle) and Ashley Helenfbein (right) were charged with giving gummy bears laced with melatonin to 2-year-olds at the Kiddie Junction Daycare Center in Des Plaines on March 2, 2018. DES PLAINES POLICE DEPARTMENT

DES PLAINES, Ill. (AP) – Police in suburban Chicago say three day care workers are charged with giving children gummy bears containing the sleep aid melatonin.

Des Plaines police said Monday that officers were called to Kiddie Junction on Friday. Police said the children were given the melatonin “in an effort to calm them down before nap time.” Authorities say parents hadn’t given permission for their children to receive the melatonin. Police contacted parents and no children were sickened.

Three workers face charges of endangering the life or health of a child and battery, including 25-year-old Ashley Helfenbein of Chicago, 19-year-old Jessica Heyse of Des Plaines and 32-year-old Kristen Lauletta of Niles. They are due in court April 4. None had listed phone numbers to pursue comment.

A person who answered the phone Monday at Kiddie Junction said the facility had no comment.