Regency, Alabama – A prominent business owner is being charged in the poisoning and near death of his two children.
Alabama Child Protective Services was notified when the children of prominent Regency land developer Ian Oda were brought into Eden County General Hospital convulsing and showing other signs of poisoning. When questioned about what had happened, Mr. Oda explained that the children, Alex 7 and Elizabeth 6, had ingested poisoned food that he had warned them not to eat. “I told them the rules and they disobeyed me. This is their fault.”
Police and CPS agents were dispatched to the Oda home where they found an elaborate fenced-in playground which had been built specifically for the children. Neighbors reported that they had seen the children enjoying themselves and running naked around the playground for several days before the incident. Food, snacks and beverages were scattered throughout the area. However, some of the treats had been laced with strychnine and piled all together at the base of a large apple tree.
Further complicating matters was the news that a former employee of Mr. Oda had been seen talking to the children shortly before they arrived at the hospital. Mr. Levi Natas had been overheard telling Elizabeth that the poisoned snacks were actually the tastiest snacks of all and that their father was hoarding them for himself.
Mr. Natas had worked for Mr. Oda’s company for many years but had a falling out and been let go under contentious circumstances in 2004. Mr. Natas then started his own rival company in Regency and has been notorious for trying to undermine many of Mr. Oda’s construction projects.
When questioned about the incident Mr. Oda said, “Oh yes, I saw Mr. Natas talking to Elizabeth. I saw everything. My living room window overlooks the playground. But the children knew the rules. That was the only pile of snacks I had asked them not to eat.”
Mr. Oda faces charges of reckless endangerment. Although the children have recovered, Mr. Oda stated to police that they are no longer welcome in his home, will never be allowed back into the playground, and that their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will also never be allowed to play there.
In a prepared statement which Mr. Oda dictated to one of his assistants while the assistant was asleep, he proclaimed, “I have an employee that can clean up this mess. I promise I will send him. But it may take a few thousand years before I get around to it.”