FBI makes arrest in Wake Robin ricin investigation

Marsha Scott
December 2, 2017

FBI investigators say she used instructions printed from the Internet to make ricin, an extremely toxic poison, out of castor beans picked from a garden at Wake Robin.

She is set to appear in court on Friday, Dec. 1. Investigators also found instructions for making ricin that apparently were from the internet, the affidavit said. In an affidavit Friday, officials said Miller told them she wanted to harm herself and was testing the toxic poison by sprinkling it on the food and drinks of other Wake Robin residents.

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

A representative of the retirement home did not respond to a call seeking comment.

Symptoms of ricin exposure typically occur within four to 10 hours and can include difficulty breathing, fever, cough, nausea, heavy sweating and tightness in the chest. When swallowed, Ricin can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, bloody urine, hallucinations and seizures. Dressed in protective gear, the team found a bottle containing Ricin powder in a wicker basket in Miller's kitchen cabinet.

Betty Miller is charged with possession of an unregistered biological agent, newly unsealed federal court records show.

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

However, she sought to test the effectiveness of the plant-based poison on others in her care home.

"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.

Investigators have not said if additional charges would be filed.

Miller was placed in custody and was scheduled to be in court again on Wednesday. It said that it would not release details about its residents.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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