MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — For the third time in recent months, a Muncie nurse is facing several charges, accused of stealing narcotics from the hospital for personal use.
Police said the incident happened at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital. Hospital police launched an investigation in April.
According to court documents, the Director of Pharmacy Services discovered one of their nurses had been taking what they described as unusually high amounts of hydrocodone from the medication dispensing machine.
52-year-old Ruth Williams is now facing charges of possession of a narcotic drug, theft, and criminal recklessness.
She’s just one of three nurses in recent months facing similar allegations.
Police also arrested Alisha Sue and Kadee Klafka. Both face numerous charges, including theft and possession of narcotics.
According to court documents, Sue used the drugs in front of her young child.
Investigators said Williams admitted to stealing hydrocodone from the hospital in mid January after her prescription ran out.
Some people living in Muncie told 24-Hour News 8 they are shocked.
“It’s kind of shocking to me for them to do that with the people we really depend on to take care of our health care,” said David Hoopingarner, Muncie resident.
“It’s crazy, it’s sad, it’s just speaking of the trouble that everybody’s having here in town,” said resident Kyler Amos.
24-Hour News 8 stopped by Williams’ last known address after online records show she bonded out of jail. But no one came to the door.
According to court documents, Williams was assigned to the inpatient oncology unit. She told investigators when a patient needed pain medicine she would withdraw morphine and hydrocodone.
Documents show she would give the patient morphine and kept hydrocodone for herself. She told investigators she would chart that she administered the medications to the patient.
“I think that shows that it knows no bounds,” said Aimee Fant. “Everyone knows someone that’s affected by addiction.”
Fant is the coordinator for Muncie Action Plan. Her group is looking for ways to improve quality of life for people in the community.
“The only way to truly get out in front of it is to really start having those really hard conversations about action, about what we can do to not only stop individual drug abuse but prevent it from happening in the future,” she explained.
Fant believes there’s a tremendous need for inpatient care and programs in Delaware County.
“Obviously it knows no socioeconomic bounds,” Fant said. “Everyone’s affected. Having those resources in place is crucial for everyone.”
A spokesperson for IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital told 24-Hour News 8 the hospital is working with law enforcement and had nothing else to release about the investigation.
At this time no future court dates have been set for Williams.