TX woman celebrating birthday poisoned by napkin in car door handle in suspected kidnapping attempt

A Texas woman was hospitalized after touching a napkin that was left on her car door and warned others about the potential sinister motivations behind the suspected poisoning.

(Video: Fox 26)

On Tuesday, Erin Mims and her husband went out to celebrate her birthday at a restaurant in Houston, TX and were heading to a local spa afterward only to end up at the hospital instead. After the woman posted a video to social media warning about the incident, she spoke with Fox 26 and told them she may have been the victim of a kidnapping attempt.

“I just threw it out. I opened the door with the tips of my fingers,” she said of the napkin that had been wedged in the door handle. “I asked my husband, did you put a napkin in the door? And he said no.”

Mims went on to recreate manner in which she found her car door in a video that went viral before speaking to Fox about how quickly she had to rushed to the hospital.

“Maybe five minutes,” she told the outlet, “my whole arm started tingling and feeling numb. I couldn’t breath. I started getting hot flashes, my chest was hurting, my heart was beating really fast.”

At the hospital, doctors reportedly ran a battery of tests of Mims including a CAT scan and explained her “vitals were all over the place.” However, they were unable to identify what may have been on the napkin that caused such a violent reaction.

Mark Winter, the managing director of Southeast Houston Poison Center explained it could have been any number of poisons. “The probability is that you would have to have a lot more than just a casual exposure. In her video, her symptoms match hundreds of different poisons. It is possible. I’ve learned over my 40 years, that anything is possible when it comes to the human body.”

“The doctor came in, and told me it wasn’t enough in my system to determine what it was,” she reported, “but it was acute poisoning from an unknown substance.” What the doctor could tell her was that it sounded as though she were the victim of a failed kidnapping attempt.

Others reacted to Mims’ story on social media by spreading her report and sharing accounts of similar incidents that may also have been attempted kidnappings. One such story reportedly involved two young girls asking a woman for help and gifting her a rose in exchange. That rose had a white powder on it that she believed to fentanyl and she asserted that she may have been targeted for sex trafficking.

Warning: Language

Another post reported an incident much like Mims suspected poisoning but with a dollar in place of the napkin noting, “Apparently this is a kidnapping tactic.”

Houston, TX is ranked as the worst city in the nation for human trafficking and according to the Statewide Human Trafficking Mapping Project of Texas, an estimated 300,000 people were victimized across the state in 2016. Roughly 234,000 of them were adults reportedly subjected to labor trafficking.

Some speculated that Mims may have merely suffered a panic attack, but she disregarded naysayers and warned the public to stay alert and “be careful.”

“I read some of the comments. I don’t care what people think. I just want them to know what happened. When they see that napkin, in their head they’re going to know not to touch it,” she said. “I just want everybody to be careful. Physically, I’m ok but emotionally, mentally, I’m not. I don’t even want to go anywhere by myself.”

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Kevin Haggerty

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