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Police charge woman with poisoning her sons, ages 1 and 3, by putting eye drops into drinks

GETTYSBURG, Pa. - A Maryland woman poisoned her young sons with eye drops and faces charges of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children, Pennsylvania police said.

State police in Gettysburg announced Monday they had arrested Samantha Elizabeth Unger, 23, after she told them she put Visine into drinks for her 3-year-old and that her 1-year-old got sick by drinking them accidentally.

Unger told police she put the medication in his water and juice, eventually giving him more than a bottle of the eye drops, according to her arrest affidavit.

Both children became sick this spring. The older boy required several hospital visits and at one point was airlifted because his pulse had become dangerously low.

Doctors at Hershey Medical Center suspected poisoning, and tests found the substance in the 3-year-old's urine.

Unger lived at the time in Orrtanna, outside Gettysburg, but has since moved across the state line to Thurmont, Maryland.

Unger's public defender did not return a phone message left Tuesday.

A judge set bail at $50,000 two weeks ago. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for later this month.

Adams County District Attorney Shawn Wagner said Unger was not charged with attempted murder because that requires an element of intent.

"We could not show that intent, given her actions in this case," Wagner said Tuesday.

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