DA confirms no criminal charges to be filed in Camp Beckwith investigation

Baldwin County

Update 11:09 am Thursday

The Baldwin County DA confirms that there will be no criminal charges in the investigation. Citing the fact that the over-the-counter supplement is generally safe, the DA sid there was no crime committed. The DA said that even with large overdoses of melatonin the symptoms are very mild, so children were not in danger. 

Sheriff Hoss Mack says investigators interviewed dozens of witnesses. Mack says the case is closed. He also stated that part of the investigation centered around whether other substances were used, and how long the melatonin had been used at the camp. He said there was no evidence that there were other substances or that the practice had been going on for more than 2 weeks.

Investigators say the Episcopal Diocese was extremely helpful and cooperative during the investigation. 

At one time there were plans to send the case to the grand jury, but the DA found that there was not enough evidence to send it to them. He said because the substance doesn’t even qualify as an over-the-counter drug, but a supplement there was no crime. He also said that every parent signed a waiver allowing the camp to administer over-the-counter drugs like aspirin and Benadryl to the children.

Update 8:50 am Thursday

A parent tells News 5 she’s been informed by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office that no criminal charges will be filed in this case. The parent says she received the news yesterday in a voicemail from Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office investigators. She says all parents involved in the case received the same message.

More information is expected in this morning’s news conference at 11 am. You can watch it live on WKRG’s Facebook page.

Original Story 8:00 am Thursday

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WKRG) – The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office and the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office will hold a news conference Thursday morning at 11 am to discuss the Camp Beckwith Melatonin investigation. News 5 will stream the news conference live on Facebook.

Last month, campers at a South Baldwin church camp began reporting they were given the over-the-counter sleep aid Melatonin. The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the claims. Law enforcement sources tell News 5 as many as a dozen campers reported being given Melatonin while attended a camp run by the Episcopal Church.

Parents started reporting to the sheriff’s office allegations of campers being given 5-milligram tablets of Melatonin, a herb commonly used as a sleep aid.  Criminal charges are unlikely because the drug is not a controlled substance.

Camp officials are fully co-operating in the investigation.

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