Federal Bureau of Investigation arrests 70yo who made ricin & tested it on her neighbors
03 December, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Ora Austin
Federal authorities have arrested a Wake Robin resident in connection with the ricin poison investigation at the retirement community.
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.
On Wednesday, Miller told health care providers that she had attempted to poison other Wake Robin residents by putting homemade ricin into their food and beverages over the past several weeks.
FBI investigators say she used instructions printed from the Internet to make ricin, an extremely toxic poison, out of castor beans picked from a garden at Wake Robin. Following instructions obtained online, Miller manufactured a total of between 2 and 3 tablespoons of Ricin on two separate occasions in the kitchen of her residence. However, the Health Department said Friday that no one is now ill with ricin poisoning.
Miller was charged with unregistered possession of a select agent, ricin, and will remain in custody until her probably cause and detention hearing, schedule for December 6.
She is scheduled to appear in federal court Friday afternoon. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office, any threat from the substances in Miller's apartment has been neutralized and no traces of ricin or other hazardous materials were found outside of her apartment.
The next hearing date was set for 11 a.m. on December 6 to determine probable cause for the charge against Miller and to review whether she will remain in custody while she awaits a trial.
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The powder tested positive for ricin.
She is now in custody and will return to court on Wednesday.
She then drove herself to UVM medical center for evaluation and observation.
Investigators said they found the ricin in a pill bottle half-filled with powder and labeled 'ricin.' That bottle was sitting in a basket placed in a kitchen cabinet of Miller's apartment and placed amidst other pill bottles, investigators said. Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine met with staff and residents to discuss the situation and answer questions, he said. During that time, no other residents reported symptoms consistent with ricin poisoning.
The Vermont Health Department said it was aware of one person who likely became ill with ricin poisoning found in the retirement community. This was someone other than Miller who also is a Wake Robin resident but who is recovering from apparent mild exposure.
Ricin is a poison derived from castor beans, which are used to make castor oil. According to health officials, consuming ricin that way would result in vomiting, bloody diarrhea and possibly hallucinations and seizures typically in less than 10 hours. On at least three occasions, Miller exposed other residents to the Ricin she had produced by placing it on food and/or in beverages she expected them to ingest.
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