An Oregonian woman has been sentenced to 21 years in prison after the court found her guilty of drugging her children so she had time to go the gym and get a tan. Bizarrely, they were not even her own children, but those of other parents who had left children with January Neatherlin, aged 32, who ran an illegal daycare from her home. She lied to parents about her credentials and her status as a qualified carer and then drugged the children using melatonin so she could leave them unattended and go about her day.
She has been charged with 11 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and one count of third-degree assault.
Police placed the woman under surveillance after a former boyfriend and roommate tipped them off about her behaviour. They found that on multiple occasions she left the nursery to do Crossfit and go to a tanning salon. Investigations revealed that parents had been given strict instructions to never drop their children off, or pick them up, between 11am and 2pm. Police checked the records of the gym and tanning salon attended by January Neatherlin and found that these hours were the ones where she would be present for her classes.
Blood tests revealed that the children had been drugged with melatonin.
In an even weirder turn for the case, January received a particularly stern sentence after her behaviour during the trial was particularly irresponsible. During the months leading up to trial where she remained in prison she was found approaching other inmates and offering them money to claim they had worked for her, and that she was a responsible carer. She also wrote letters to various inmates asking for bail money, promising payment from off-shore accounts that she would access later. Prosecutors also highlighted that January had a previous conviction for fraud and identity theft and that she always had an “on-going, systematic scheme of doing what she wanted and getting what she wanted, without any concern for the danger she was placing others in.”
Prosecutors initially asked for a 35-year sentence, but the 21-year sentence she received certainly can’t be taken lightly either.
Gummy Bear melatonin at naptime? Brilliant! https://t.co/8Jptpvkpux— Tom (@Bikezilla1) 6 March 2018
The case comes not long after three women who worked as carers at a nursery were found guilty of drugging children by giving them melatonin in the form of spiked gummy bears. Similar to January, it seemed that the women wanted the children to go into a deep sleep and give them an easier shift.