KCK mom says she gave kids PCP after confusing bottle with vanilla extract

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- KCK police are investigating a mother who allegedly fed her children PCP.

The mother and all three children are in the hospital in stable condition as police investigate whether or not the drugging was accident or something sinister.

Police say one of the children is 16 years old and the other two are under the age of one -- delicate ages for a drug like PCP to enter their systems, says Managing Director of the KU Poison Center, Dr. Tama Sawyer.

“In severe overdoses it can actually lead to coma and death, and it tends to shut down body organs,” she said.

Dr. Sawyer believes this is a very odd case. She has never seen a case or study report a child under the age of one having ingested PCP.

It is a powerful drug that affects the brain and subsequently all bodily functions. PCP either causes euphoria -- a feeling of intense happiness -- or dysphoria -- a profound state of unease.

“PCP can make people violent, very violent,” Dr. Sawyer said. “PCP falls into the class of the class of the zombie who ate the guy’s face off in Florida. That’s the kind of effect it would have on the brain.”

Sawyer says the children, especially the infants are lucky to be alive. A PCP overdose can be fatal.

“It causes your temperature to go up,” Dr. Sawyer said of the drug. "Once your temperature goes up, destroying organs, the, kidneys, lungs. Every organ system depends upon a very narrow body temperature. If you get that elevated to over 103, then you are talking deadly.”

The mother of the children told police that she was making breakfast Tuesday morning and used vanilla extract to make french toast. Instead of vanilla, there was PCP in the bottle. The children became sick after they ate the food.

Police say PCP users often put their drugs in vanilla bottles because of the dark color of the glass.

Police say the mother reported that a family member's ex-boyfriend who used to live in the home was a drug user and may have put the PCP in the vanilla bottle.

Police are still investigating the mother's account of what happened to determine if it was an accident or intentional. As of now, there have been no criminal charges filed.

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