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Unlicensed daycare owner charged with felony child neglect and drugging children

On Feb. 21, prosecutors in Indianapolis charged 37-year-old Stephanie Gribble with multiple felony counts of child neglect after allegedly drugging at least four youngsters at her unlicensed day care facility.

Four children ranging in age from 11-months-old to five-years-old had to be hospitalized.
Four children ranging in age from 11-months-old to five-years-old had to be hospitalized.
IMPD

According to The Indy Channel, Gribble was arrested by police in Indianapolis on Valentine’s Day after four of the children under her care had to be hospitalized for apparent drug overdoses. According to hospital personnel, by the time the kids arrived at the hospital, they were exhibiting symptoms that included drooling, unconsciousness, tremors, and tongue swelling.

"[The children] were in such poor condition when they arrived that medical personnel suspected brain injury was the cause of the symptoms observed," according to Dr. Rachel Morton, a pediatric hospitalist at Community Health North.

The children that were in bad enough shape to be hospitalized ranged in age from 11-months-old to five-years-old.

Hospital personnel, in consultation with Poison Control, determined that the most likely drugs used to dose the children were those found in some prescription meds, and some over the counter sleep aids and cold medications.

Doctors determined the most likely candidates for the source of the overdose were Benadryl and Risperidone.

Charging documents stated that the kids from the daycare told police that “Gribble would regularly give them ‘grape medicine’ before nap time to help them sleep.”

During a search of Gribble's home, which doubled as the day care business, police found an empty 30 ml bottle of Risperidone, an empty bottle of grape-flavored "Assured" brand children's night time cold and cough medicine, and a small oral syringe used to administer medication by mouth.

Originally, Gribble told police that she never medicated any of the kids under her care, but later recanted, saying that she had given two children some cold medicine because they had "runny noses."

Gribble also told police that the empty bottle of Risperidone found in her home was her son’s prescription for OCD. But she couldn't account for how the 30 count bottle was empty after only being purchased three days earlier.

Risperidone, an anti-psychotic drug that affects neurotransmitters in the brain, can cause seizures and other potentially deadly side-effects …

On Friday, the unlicensed daycare owner was charged with six felony counts of neglect of a dependent.

Gribble will appear in court on Feb. 24 for her preliminary hearing.

This incident isn't Gribble’s first occurrence of owning and operating an unlicensed daycare facility.

According to The Huffington Post:

Court documents in 2011 show that Gribble had 13 kids in her care and she never got a license. She did it again in 2012. That time, she had 15 children but she still did not apply for a license.

The state of Ind. is still trying to collect $3,300 in civil penalties from Gribble in connection to those earlier infractions.

For more on the recent drug overdoses of those four children at Gribble's unlicensed daycare operation, see the video accompanying this article.

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