Champlin, Minnesota, police arrested a woman who allegedly sent her neighbors letters threatening to eat their children, PEOPLE confirms.
The neighbors, who have two young children, received the first letter on Sept. 27. “The children look delicious. May I have a taste?” it read, according to a Facebook post by the kids’ mother on the Champlin community group page.
After that, police said, they began receiving magazine subscriptions, but “instead of a name on the address label it said things like ‘tasty children,’ ” Champlin Deputy Police Chief Ty Schmidt told WCCO.
Police ended up tracing the subscriptions back to Carrie Pernula, 38, who confessed to sending the letters, Schmidt tells PEOPLE.
“She was angry because the kids were leaving things in her yard and I think being a little noisy, being kids, the way kids are,” Schmidt told the station. He added to PEOPLE: “We think she may have read Hansel and Gretel one too many times,” a reference to the children’s fable about a witch who tries to cook two children.
Pernula has not yet been charged with a crime, but Schmidt says he believes she will be charged with gross misdemeanor terroristic threats and stalking.
Schmidt says that Pernula regretted her behavior. “She’s not like a hardened criminal,” he says, adding, “We don’t think she had any intention of hurting the kids. We think she just didn’t know how to react.”
Still, the arrest comes as a relief for the family. “I have never met or interacted with this woman before,” the kids’ mother wrote on Facebook. “If she had come to me even once, I am sure this whole situation could have been avoided without terrorizing my family and the community.
“This woman is sick,” she added. “Whatever happens from here is up to the courts to decide.”
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