MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Latest on a retirement community resident accused of making ricin and testing it on people’s food (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

The Vermont Health Department says it’s aware of one person who likely became ill with ricin poisoning from the deadly toxin found at an upscale retirement community.

But the Health Department said Friday that no one is currently ill with ricin poisoning. Officials say symptoms would have appeared 24 hours after ingesting it.

A resident of the Wake Robin senior living community in Shelburne is accused of manufacturing the ricin and testing the deadly toxin on other residents.

Investigators say 70-year-old Betty Miller told them she wanted to “injure herself” with the poison and was testing its effectiveness on other residents.

A public defender declined to comment on the case after Miller’s initial court appearance Friday.


3:30 p.m.

A judge says a Vermont retirement community resident accused of making ricin and testing the deadly toxin on her neighbors has a history of mental health problems.

Seventy-year-old Betty Miller made her first appearance in federal court in Vermont on Friday. Judge John Conroy noted her mental health history. He did not elaborate.

Miller was placed in custody and is scheduled to be in court again on Wednesday. She said she was working on getting a lawyer.

Investigators say Miller told them she wanted to “injure herself” with the poison and was testing its effectiveness on others at the Wake Robin retirement community in Shelburne.


11 a.m.

A woman who lives at a Vermont retirement community has been accused of making ricin and testing the deadly toxin on other residents by putting it on their food or in beverages over a period of weeks.

Investigators say Betty Miller told them she wanted to “injure herself” with the poison and was testing its effectiveness on others.

Investigators said in court documents filed Thursday in Burlington that Miller told them she made the ricin from castor bean plant seeds. She said she drove herself to a hospital on Monday to be evaluated.

Police were called to the Wake Robin senior living community in Shelburne on Tuesday. They said no other residents reported symptoms of ricin poisoning.

Miller was scheduled to be arraigned Friday. It wasn’t immediately known if she had a lawyer.

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