New details: Woman, 70, makes initial appearance in Shelburne ricin case

Dec 03, 2017, 00:57
New details: Woman, 70, makes initial appearance in Shelburne ricin case

Federal authorities and police are continuing to investigate the discovery of the deadly toxin ricin inside an apartment at a Vermont retirement community.

Emmons went on: "Ms. Miller indicated her goal was to injure herself, but she wanted to test the effectiveness of the ricin on others".

"Based on research conducted on the Internet using her laptop, computer, and cell phone, Miller harvested 30-40 castor beans from plants growing on the property of Wake Robin", court documents show.

Authorities were called to the senior community on Tuesday after Miller told health care providers she had manufactured about 2-3 tablespoons of the powder and placed it in multiple services of food and beverages over a period of weeks. However, the Health Department said Friday that no one is now ill with ricin poisoning.

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

A resident of the Wake Robin retirement community, Miller was made her initial appearance in a court in Burlington on Friday after she was charged with possession of a biological weapon.

On Friday afternoon, Miller appeared before Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy for a preliminary hearing in U.S. District Court in Burlington. Miller also indicated that she meant to injure herself and wanted to test the Ricin on other residents.

The results were also confirmed Wednesday morning after a test was done by the Vermont Department of Health. "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". Mild doses can cause difficulty breathing, fever, cough, nausea, and tightness in the chest.

The state health department said on Friday it became aware of one person who probably became ill with ricin poisoning but said no one was now ill.

A team made of members from the state's Hazardous Material Response Team and the Vermont National Guard's 15th Civil Support Team went into Miller's residence at Wake Robin to look for suspicious powders and test for ricin. 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.

Investigators found a pill bottle half full with powder labeled as ricin in a basket in a kitchen cabinet of Miller's apartment a midst other pill bottles labeled "apple seed", "cherry seed" and "yew seed", the complaint said.

The acting Shelburne Police chief says he and the Federal Bureau of Investigation returned to Wake Robin on Thursday. Miller stated she made a decision to test the effectiveness of the Ricin on other residents of Wake Robin.

Ricin is a poison derived from castor beans, which are used to make castor oil. A Wake Robin spokeswoman said residents were safe.