An unlicensed baby-sitter, Lori Conley, was charged with murdering an infant under her care with a lethal dose of the antihistamine Benedryl, which is marketed as a medicine for allergies.
The victim, 8-month-old Haddix Mulkey, died on May 13, but it wasn’t until three weeks later that a toxicology report confirmed the cause of death.
“My baby went too early,” said the mother, Katie Mulkey, reports ABC News. “I didn’t ask for this,” she added, noting that she is collecting news clippings of the tragedy.
Haddix was one of eight children that Conley was baby-sitting at the time, and Conley told police she gave the baby adult-strength Benedryl to help her sleep.
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Benedryl’s active ingredient, diphenhydramine, is known to cause drowsiness, and is the same active ingredient used in many over-the-counter sleeping pills, including Nytol, Sominex and Tylenol PM. Pfizer, the manufacturer of Benedryl, warns that even the children's-strength version of the drug should not be given to anyone under the age of 2, according to the product label.
Symptoms of diphenhydramine overdose include inability to urinate, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, seizures, hallucinations and, in rare cases like that of Haddix, death, notes MedlinePlus.
Conley was formally charged with the crime on June 4, with her bail set at $750,000. The status of her plea is unknown, ABC News reports.