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Published: Sun, December 03, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Vermont woman held for 'testing ricin on fellow care home residents'

Vermont woman held for 'testing ricin on fellow care home residents'

A woman is facing a federal charge after investigators discovered the poison ricin in her home at her Shelburne retirement community on Monday.

"Ms. Miller indicated her goal was to injure herself, but she wanted to test the effectiveness of the ricin on others", wrote Agent Emmons in the affidavit.

She added that she found instructions online and then used 30 to 40 castor beans from plants growing on the property to make the ricin.

"We have received assurances from the Vermont Department of Health and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that no one's health is at risk", the statement said.

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

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.

Miller appeared in court on Friday, the Free Press reports, where the judge made a reference to her "mental health history". Federal prosecutors said she planned the crime carefully and is pushing to have her remain in custody while the investigation continues. This powder was tested in the HHA (Hand Held Analysis) and RAMP, with a positive result on the HHA for Ricin. "On at least three occasions, Miller exposed other residents to the ricin she had produced by placing it on food and/or beverages she expected them to ingest".

The FBI determined that there was probable cause to to support a criminal complaint and issue and arrest warrant.

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. We have been following up with that person.No one - including the individual mentioned above - is now ill with Ricin poisoning, and the danger for those who could have been exposed is over.

No other residents had reported symptoms consistent with Ricin poisoning at the time.

The department has confirmed that one resident was being treated at a hospital but says no one is ill with ricin poisoning.

Wake Robin in a statement Friday said one apartment building had been closed off and that Miller was no longer welcome at the facility.

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine and other Health Department staff met with Wake Robin residents, staff and administrators at a large group meeting on Tuesday, Truman said. 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 found naturally in castor beans and can be turned into a powder, mist or pellet, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Ingestion of the poison causes vomiting, bloody diarrhea and hallucinations, according to health officials.

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