Pennsylvania State Police have arrested a former Adams County woman, who is accused of poisoning her two children with Visine. Samantha Elizabeth Unger, 22, now of Thurmont, Md. is charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children.
Stacey Unger says she felt helpless watching her 3-year old grandson suffer from unexplained illness. “It was terrifying, it was so terrifying,” said Stacey. “This whole ordeal has just been very traumatic, very rough for us.”
Stacey soon learned the why her grandson was sick.
According to police documents the 3-year old was hospitalized with life threatening symptoms several times. The boy was finally flown by helicopter to Penn State Hershey Medical Center in March. “It was reported to us that a 3-year old child was experiencing medical problems, he was at Hershey Medical Center, and it looked like it could possibly be poisoning,” said Lt. Frederick Hess, Station Commander with Gettysburg State Police. After several tests with different medical experts State Police got involved. “There were poisonous amounts of Tetrahydrozoline in the boy’s system,” said Lt. Hess.
During an interview, State Police Investigators say the boy’s mother, Samantha Unger, confessed to poisoning him with Visine. “She was secretly putting the Visine in his water bottle and his juice bottle,” said Lt. Hess.
When used in your eyes, Visine is harmless. Ingesting the eye drop can cause life threatening symptoms, such as rapid heart rate, convulsions, and it can even put a person into a mild coma.
Police said Unger also admitted that her 1-year old son became ill after he accidentally consumed the poisoned drinks she had made for his brother. According to police documents Unger told police that she did not know how much Visine she had used, but she admitted to using more than one bottle.
Lt. Hess said Unger did give a motive, but he would not elaborate because of the ongoing investigation.
Unger, formerly of Orrtanna, was arrested on June 19 after a two to three month investigation and taken to Adams County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail. She posted bail on June 20th and was released. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 24.