Kitchener woman accused of poisoning 8 children, 1 adult

Christine Allen, a Kitchener, Ont., woman charged in July for allegedly poisoning two children, is facing new charges and now stands accused of poisoning an adult and eight children.

The Waterloo Regional Police Service laid the additional criminal charges against Allen, 32. Police said the children involved in these latest cases were less than two years old.

Allen now faces nine counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and nine counts of administering a noxious substance.

Police accuse Allen of feeding eight children and one adult tetrahydrozoline, a drug found in over-the-counter eye care products that can cause serious illness if ingested.

“It can cause symptoms such as drowsiness, low blood pressure, respiratory difficulties and a decreased heart rate and this is especially true for young children,” said Alana Holtom, corporate communications manager with the police. “The victims have recovered to a certain extent, but certainly their illnesses at the time were significant.”

Police first started investigating the case in March when a child who was under the care of the suspect was taken to a local hospital.

During the investigation, police uncovered another incident in which a child was brought to hospital with similar symptoms. That incident occurred in July 2010 while Allen was running an unlicensed daycare, police said.

Allen, who police say also uses the name Christine Keilbar, ran the daycare from a home in the Pioneer Park area of Kitchener from 2009 to 2011, police said.

“We are concerned there may be other victims as well, so we continue to appeal to the public for more information,” said Holtom.