Wake Robin resident held on federal poison charge; Facility limits public comments

Wake Robin recently closed on $67 million in financing

Wake Robin recently closed on $67 million in financing

A resident of a retirement community made the deadly toxin ricin and tested it on her neighbours by putting it on their food or in drinks, investigators 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.

According to an Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit filed Thursday, November 30, 2017: On November 27, Betty Miller indicated to health care providers that she had attempted to poison other Wake Robin residents using homemade Ricin, which she had placed in multiple servings of other residents' food and beverages over a period of weeks. (Miller apparently made her homemade version using castor beans on the retirement community's property, according to the Free Press.) The poison invades the body's cells, preventing them from creating the right proteins until they eventually die, according to the CDC. "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".

The FBI says no Wake Robin residents reported symptoms consistent with ricin poisoning.

She then drove herself to UVM medical center for evaluation and observation.

The U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI announced the arrest of Betty Miller on a federal criminal complaint charging her with unregistered possession of a hazardous substance, ricin.

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Investigators also said that Miller had printed instructions, entitled "How to make ricin", which she had gotten from the internet.

"Miller stated that she had an interest in plant-based poisons and had conducted internet research on how to make them", the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement according to AFP. In her request to detain Miller, Cowles noted that: "Health Department testing of one individual Miller admitted to poisoning came back positive for the presence of ricin". Investigators said they found the ricin in a pill bottle half-filled with powder and labeled 'ricin'.

The team found a yellowish powder in the bottle labeled "ricin" and initial tests - that were later confirmed by the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory - showed that the powder was ricin.

Patrick McKee, President & CEO of Wake Robin, issued this statement Friday: "Earlier this week Wake Robin was made aware of a potentially toxic substance in a resident's apartment". Miller stated she chose to test the effectiveness of the Ricin on other residents of Wake Robin. A Wake Robin spokeswoman said residents were safe.

Symptoms of ricin exposure typically occur within four to 10 hours and can include difficulty breathing, fever, cough, nausea, heavy sweating and tightness in the chest.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ricin is a poison naturally found in castor beans.

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