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Police Investigate Allegation Of Contaminated Candy At Joplin Ch - KOAM TV 7

Police Investigate Allegation Of Contaminated Candy At Joplin Christmas Parade

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Joplin, MO -

A mother issues an alert to other parents after she says her son was given suspicious candy during last night's Joplin Christmas parade.  The woman says her son was given the candy by a group of people in the parade.  But despite a police investigation, questions might remain unanswered.

Take a look at the picture included with this story.  It has been the center of disbelief, shock, and anger from hundreds of people on Facebook.

"I posted it on my own personal Facebook account.  Somebody said you should make it public, and I thought, oh, you know what, that's a good idea.  More people will see it that way," says Amanda DePratt.

DePratt says she and her family were watching Joplin's Christmas parade, and her 12-year-old son found a pill wrapped with a piece of candy, given to him by some teenage girls.

"I don't think he was scared," says DePratt.  "I think he was just wondering why it was there and why it was handed to him."

DePratt says her son handed the candy to her husband.

DePratt says, "I was like, Oh my gosh!  This was handed to my child!"

"I found some, I'm assuming they were parade security officers, who then got on and dispatched a couple of officers," says DePratt.

"At that point, our officers gathered the information," says Sgt. Trevor Duncan with the Joplin Police Department.

"Then they got their flashlights out, and took it back a little bit aways from us," says DePratt.  "Then they came back and they told me, we know that this is just a vitamin.  I don't want any foreign substance handed to my children!"

"Unfortunately, the pill was disposed of at the time they (officers) were contacted," says Duncan.

The pill was disposed of by the two police officers.

"They were telling me how, you can tell it had been hot because the candy had melted around the pill.  I was thinking that well now, the evidence is gone.  If they needed to test it, it's broken up into their hands.  It was on the ground and now if another kid gets one of these, or gets sick or something else, they have nothing to test it against," says DePratt.

"Protocol would be that we would seize it as evidence, so that we could do further testing," says Duncan.

The Joplin Police Department won't say if the two officers will be disciplined for not following protocol.  But DePratt says she doesn't want to play the blame game.

"There has been those wonderful parents, back behind all of this, who have said, good job!  I'm checking my kids' candy now.  Which is what I originally wanted in the post to begin with," says DePratt.

Joplin police say they are still investigating DePratt's allegation.

Joplin police say reported allegations of candy being laced are very rare.  There have been no other police reports of people finding contaminated candy during Joplin's Christmas parade.  However, police are asking anyone who did find contaminated candy to contact the Joplin Police Department.  

DePratt says she plans on spending a lot of time this evening with her 12-year-old son, specifically to affirm him of the right thing he did to point out the suspicious candy.

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