7 young kids overdose on sleeping pills after getting into medication while unsupervised: police

RICHMOND-PETERSBURG, Va. -- A house full of young children had to be rushed to a Virginia hospital after overdosing on sleeping pills Wednesday.

Police said the children had been left unsupervised when one of the children got into the medication.

Hopewell police roped off this house while the overdose investigation is underway.

Four children -- ages 1, 2, 3, and 4 -- were found unresponsive, WTVR reported.

Three other children, two age 6 and another age 7, were also found showing signs of sleepiness.

"They were left unsupervised for a short period of time and one of the kids that had it as a prescription medication got into his prescription medication and shared it with the other children here," said Lt. Cheyenne Casale with the Hopewell Police Department.

Investigators believe the 7-year-old child gave the children his sleeping pills.

They said the pill bottle did not have a label on it, but after questioning the 7-year-old and consulting with doctors at John Randolph Medical Center, they were able to determine that sleeping pills are the focal point.

"I don't know the details of their treatment, but it sounds like some of them are being transported to other hospitals for further treatment," Lt. Cheyenne Casale added.

"I'm sorry. It's very emotional," said neighbor Melissa Baldwin.

Holding back tears, Baldwin said what played out next door to her mother's house is difficult to comprehend.

"As soon as we pulled around the corner, all I could see was police everywhere. You know? And I'm like, oh my God, what happened? And you know, we didn't see him taking anybody in ambulances or anything. We missed that part, fortunately, but a close neighbor that lives on the corner basically was telling us how even the police officers were helping bringing out the children and running them to the ambulances and such," Baldwin said.

Hopewell police are in the early stages of what could be a complicated and lengthy investigation.

There are two things they hope to accomplish sooner rather than later.

"Find out who we can hold accountable and basically get these kids in a safe environment. That's our number one goal," Lt. Cheyenne Casale said.