Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

More kids added in poisoning probe

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KITCHENER, Ont. -- An Ontario woman accused of poisoning two young kids in her care has now been charged in the alleged poisonings of six babies and toddlers, including a newborn, as well as an adult.

Police said Friday the new charges come as a result of their investigation into the woman, who ran a home daycare in Kitchener, Ont., from 2009 to 2011.

With the new charges, she is now accused in the alleged poisonings of eight children and a 32-year-old adult, all residents of Kitchener, or Guelph, Ont.

Police allege a suspect gave them an over-the-counter eye care product containing tetrahydrozoline that if ingested can cause abnormal drowsiness, low blood pressure, respiratory problems and decreased heart rates, especially in young children.

They said the new incidents occurred in the last several years and involved children between the ages of one day old and two years old. Police said they were discovered after the first two incidents came to their attention when a child in her care got sick in March.

Police spokeswoman Alana Holton said only that some of the new alleged poisonings occurred with children under the woman's care, while others did not. She said investigators believe there may be more victims.

Holton said police won't divulge just how the eye drops allegedly poisoned the children and adult, adding such details will only be released in court.

Christine Allen, 32, is now accused of nine counts each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and administering a noxious substance.

She's due in court on Nov. 1.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 19, 2013 A24

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