MANCHESTER, N.H. (WHDH) - A Manchester daycare owner and three of her employees are facing charges after authorities found melatonin laced into children’s food without the children’s parents’ knowledge or consent, police announced. 

Manchester police in a statement said Sally Dreckmann, 52; Traci Innie, 51; Kaitlin Filardo, 23; and Jessica Foster, 23, turned themselves in to authorities after a lengthy investigation. No children who ingested the melatonin became sick in any way, police said.

“This is an over-the-counter drug that can be given as a sleep aid, but for it to be given to children without the knowledge or consent of the parents, it’s very concerning,” said Heather Hamel, a spokesperson for the Manchester Police Department.

Manchester police said their investigation began in November of last year after detectives received a report “alleging unsafe practices going on in an in-home daycare at 316 Amory Street.”

Through their investigation, police said, officers determined the children’s food was being sprinkled with melatonin.

“It sounded like it was a powder-type substance, maybe pills that were broken up. I don’t know exactly, but it was described as it was sprinkled on the food that the children were being served at lunch,” Hamel said.

A woman inside the Amory Street home spoke with 7News through a closed door Thursday, saying she had “no comment.” She deferred questions to her lawyer, but when 7News contacted the attorney, she said that woman was not her client.

“I can’t believe it, you know? Wow,” neighbor Ruth Ann Jean said.

Experts say the sleep aid could have serious effects on children.

“There could be an overdose when you’re taking higher doses. Long-term use is not recommended, especially in children,” said Dr. Aarti Grover of Tufts Medical Center.

Dreckmann, Innie, Filardo and Foster have been charged with 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to police. 

This is a developing story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest updates.

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