A daycare worker in Bend, Oregon, has been sentences to 21 years and four months in jail after being convicted of drugging kids under her care so she could go tanning and to the gym.
January Neatherlin ran an unlicensed childcare operation called Little Giggles before a former boyfriend and a former roommate tipped off cops, the Oregonian reports. Cops watched as she went to run errands, tanning and to a Cross Fit gym. She told parents they couldn’t come pick up the children between 11 am and 2 pm because it was “nap time.” Police went into the daycare and found children between 6 months and 4 years old alone.
Police found that Neatherlin, 32, had given the children the sleep aid melatonin. She shook children and a child under her care also once had to go to a hospital in Portland, two and a half hours away, with multiple head injuries. She also once overheated a bottle of milk and gave a young child burns, then claimed they were “spider bites.”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with the defendant; I don’t know what could bring a person to do what she’s done to the most helpless and innocent people in our society,” said Les Adams, the grandfather of one of the children in a sentencing hearing reported by the Bend Bulletin. “But I hope she can understand that she damn near killed the easiest, happiest, most easygoing baby I’ve ever known in my life.”
Neatherlin pleaded guilty to 11 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and one count of third-degree assault.
“It is sheer serendipity and chance that some of those kids were not killed,” said the judge.