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Patricia Heating said she needed one more thing before she left Walmart on Black Friday. She grabbed a boxed bra off the shelf and reached inside to make sure it was the right size.

“That’s when it pricks me,” Headrick said Wednesday. When she reached into the box, Headrick’s finger was stuck by a syringe needle. Headrick immediately panicked.

“Whose arm was this in? Whose body?” Headrick asked herself. “Am I going to die?”

Syringes have been found in clothing items sold at the Walmart in Cartersville, Georgia four times in recent days, and Bartow County deputies want to find the person responsible.

In two of the cases, hypodermic needles have pierced the skin of customers, who required emergency medical care to hopefully prevent the spread of disease, Sgt. Jonathan Rogers with the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office said.

Headrick and her husband, Keith, told Walmart managers what happened and she said she was sent to the local hospital, where she got a Tetanus shot and had blood work done. She’s OK so far, but says she’ll have to return to the doctor’s office for more testing in six months. In the meantime, she says she’s fearful she’ll contract a disease, such as a Hepatitis.

“I’m just waiting game,” Headrick said. “I’m scared to death. I don’t know what’s going to happen.” Investigators believe the syringes have purposely been placed in clothing, Rogers said. Deputies are working with Walmart officials to review surveillance footage.

“We don’t want anyone else to get injured at all,” Rogers said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “We’d like to prosecute the person responsible.”

A Cartersville mother told investigators her child was pricked on the finger and possibly the foot by a needle hidden in a pair of children’s pajamas, according to an incident report. Emergency medical workers checked out the child and disposed of the needle.

On the 29th, a shopper found a syringe but was not injured. The incident reports do not say if the needles or syringes contained fluid. Store employees have searched clothing and found more needles.

Anyone with information on this issue is encouraged to contact Cartersville-Bartow Crime Stoppers at 770-606-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous and information leading to an arrest may be eligible for a reward.


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