Mother, teen among victims pricked by syringe hidden in clothes - CBS46 News

Mother, teen among victims pricked by syringe hidden in Walmart clothes

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BARTOW COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Three people found hypodermic needles hidden in clothing at a Walmart in Cartersville, according to the Bartow County Sheriff's Office.

One of those people was Patricia Headrick, who told CBS Atlanta that she was just about to leave the store on Market Place Boulevard, but stopped to look at a bra.

What happened next has changed her life.

"I can't believe someone would do this," Headrick said.

While opening the packaging to check the size, Headrick said she was pricked by a syringe on her right ring finger.

Raw Video: Victim shares her story.

"I put my hand down in the box and that is when it pricks me," said Headrick. "I basically panic, because I am thinking in my mind all the horror stories you hear about drugs that make you pass out so people can rob you."

"Then I start thinking. Whose arm was this in? Whose body? Was this a used needle? Am I going to die, basically from this being in someone else's body? I have been on a roller coaster all weekend."

Headrick went to the hospital to have her blood drawn and said it will take another six months before she can go back and get her blood tested again to see if she was infected by any diseases.

"I am worried about HIV," Headrick said. "It's the fear. I just don't know."

A spokesperson with the Bartow County Sheriff's Office said this is the third incident at the Walmart since Nov. 22.

Headrick was pricked on Nov. 25, and on Tuesday Nov. 29, a third woman reported she found a needle in some pants hanging in the women's department, but she didn't get pricked.

The first incident involved a 14-year-old girl, according to Sgt. Jonathan Rogers, who works for the Bartow County Sheriff's Office.

"The child put her foot into the pajamas and of course the mother reached down to see what it was and also got poked in the finger," Rogers said.

Rogers urged all Walmart customers to carefully check clothes and shake them out to make sure there is nothing hidden inside.

"You have a lot of small children that go through and look at clothes, put their hands on things, we don't want anyone else to get injured," Rogers said.

Both victims were awaiting blood work to determine whether or not they are infected.

Investigators said the syringes were sent off to a crime lab for analysis, but there's no timeline for when the results will be back.

"It's just a waiting game right now," said Headrick. "I am scared to death. I don't know what is going to happen."

Walmart spokeswoman Dianna Gee said they have extra workers checking clothing to make sure it is safe. Gee also said the company is reviewing thousands of hours of surveillance video to try and find the person who is responsible.

Investigators said before the first victim came forward on Nov. 22, they had no reports of syringes being hidden in Walmart clothing.

After that report, investigators said Walmart gave them a sock that had a syringe inside it that someone found.

Gee confirmed a fourth syringe was found, but did not comment on how long Walmart had it in their possession until the first victim was pricked.

"My family shops here," said Gee. "Safety is our number one priority and we are going to find out who did this, we are taking this very seriously."

Investigators said they will continue to follow up on any leads.

"We don't know if it is a disgruntled employee, a citizen against Walmart, or just someone out doing mischievous behavior," Rogers said.

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