by Eric Sandy
Update: Eppley has pleaded not guily, saying that the texts were "tongue in cheek," which conveniently enough, is also where the Benadryl would have been administered.
Tammy Eppley, 37, has been charged with six counts of endangering children - including her own 2-year-old daughter. The Westerville woman owns a home-based daycare center - the Caterpillar Clubhouse - where she's been reportedly lacing pancake batter with crushed Benadryl (an over-the-counter antihistamine) and melatonin (a sleep aid hormone).
Local police are also looking into whether she doped the kids' "sippy cups" with Benadryl, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
One friend has also come forward with cell phone video footage of Eppley "bragging" about the moves. The daycare owner later told police and other media outlets that she was only joking. Nonetheless, parents of the children under her purview are upset. Reports are conflicting on whether some or all of the parents knew about the drug. Eppley claims she was granted permission; police report that that was not the case.
At least one child nearly discovered the con, according to police: "Tammy jokes about one of the children almost discovering her actions by remarking that the sprinkles on some cupcakes tasted funny."
The story has blown up since charges were filed, resulting in national news outlets homing in on otherwise quaint Westerville, Ohio.