wnol.info December 18 2017


Retiree, 70, made ricin, tested it on neighbors, feds say

December 18 2017, 02:51 | Rex Rios

FBI: Wake Robin Resident Made Toxic Ricin, Fed to Others

FBI Arrests Woman in Investigation Into Ricin Found at Retirement Community

Court documents reveal that Miller told health care providers she attempted to poison other residents by putting the ricin on food or in drinks during the past several weeks, Vermont news station WCAX report. "She stated that she manufactured ricin in the kitchen of her Wake Robin residence and, to test its potency, placed the ricin in the food or beverages of other residents". It said that it would not release details about its residents.

The FBI and the Vermont Department of Health interviewed Miller on Tuesday evening at the University of Vermont Medical Center, federal law enforcement authorities said in a statement.

Wake Robin President and CEO Patrick McKee said the case was "an isolated incident" and that Miller would not be returning to the retirement community. However, the Health Department said Friday that no one is now ill with ricin poisoning. The Wake Robin community has cooperated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and state health officials to ensure all of its residents are safe.

The Health Department said they became aware on Friday of one person who most likely fell ill with ricin poisoning but said no one is now sick.

Betty Miller, 70, allegedly told investigators she made ricin with the intention of hurting herself. Judge John Conroy noted that she had a "lengthy mental health history" but did not elaborate.

Miller was placed in custody and is scheduled to be in court again on Wednesday.

Miller was represented by David McColgin, an attorney with the Office of the Federal Public Defender.

Betty Miller was arrested for making ricin in her apartment, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement, according to WCAX.

Last Monday, Miller drove herself to a hospital to be checked and is now being charged with possessing a biological weapon, a violation of federal law. After harvesting 30-40 castor beans growing on the property of Wake Robin, she then made her ricin powder using instructions from the internet. She exposed other residents to the ricin on at least three occasions, the complaint said. Miller said she ultimately wanted to use the ricin for self-harm and chose to test the effectiveness of the poison on her fellow residents on three separate occasions.

The powder tested positive for ricin.

No other residents have reported any symptoms that could be consistent with ricin poisoning, however. Through inhalation and ingestion, it can cause a person to develop breathing difficulties, fever, cough, nausea, tightness in the chest vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, seizures, blood in the urine, and within days it can cause the liver, spleen, and kidneys to stop working resulting in death. Signs of a poisoning begin to manifest with four to 10 hours of the initial exposure.



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