STEWART COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Shocking allegations were revealed Thursday morning against four workers at a Stewart County daycare.
Caretakers are accused of giving children melatonin to go to sleep without parents’ consent. Four people have now been arrested and charged.
Stewart County Sheriff Frankie Gray said a complaint was filed against MiMi’s Child Care March 25, 2022. Investigators interviewed parents who said their children were reported to be lethargic or having health-related issues after staying at the daycare.
Detective Dana Saltkill and Detective Lee Miller both told News 2 this is “very shocking.”
They believe caretakers have been giving children, including infants, melatonin at this daycare for about three years.
“You know daycare, you’d think taking their child there would be somewhat safe, would be safe. After finding this out you kind of look back at it and say ‘hmm… there’s a lot of red flags that parents didn’t pick up on,'” Detective Saltkill said. “As soon as we started investigating we knew what to look for, so we got into it.”
“There are some parents that have stated their children have suffered possibly from the melatonin that they’d been given,” said Detective Lee Miller. “So, we’re still investigating that.”
Detective Miller said they believe about 27 children were given melatonin over the span of the time the daycare has been open, but they think there could be more children.
A search warrant was executed April 28 at the daycare. May 5, Jaime Clark, 45, Kristin Clark, 22, Jordan Darnell, 22, and Ethan Pulley, 21, were taken into custody and charged.
Jamie Clark, Kristin Clark and Jordan Darnell are charged with child abuse/neglect, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, tampering with evidence and criminal violations. Pulley was charged with fabricating/tampering with evidence.
The daycare surrendered its license May 2, 2022 and is now closed, according to the Tennessee Department of Human Services.
This investigation is still ongoing.
Investigators ask anyone with a child at that daycare or anyone who has more information on the case to please call the Stewart’s County Sheriff’s Office.