PAXTON — A nurse at Paxton School was arrested Thursday following an investigation into students' missing medication.

Jacquetta Lowry, 40, of County Road 143 in Laurel Hill, was booked into the Walton County Jail about 2:30 p.m. on two counts of child neglect, according to Walton County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Corey Dobridnia.

The Sheriff's Office and Walton County School District launched an investigation May 21 after Paxton Principal Cindy Neale brought forth a concern from a parent regarding irregularities in her child’s medication at the end of the school year.

The investigation led the Sheriff’s Office to uncover “a substantial number of pills were missing” from the school’s inventory, according to Sheriff Mike Adkinson.

Also noted were discrepancies in the pills recovered, as if pills had been replaced and didn’t match up, Adkinson said. Further investigation revealed that children had noticed the medications they were receiving might not have been what they were supposed to get.

“Kids were asking about their meds, saying they didn’t taste right,” he said.

Walton County Superintendent of Schools Russell Hughes announced the investigation in a press release Wednesday, and Lowry had been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome.

Lowry had fired from a nursing home in Florala, Alabama, for the same thing she is now suspected of doing at Paxton School, Adkinson said.

Adkinson said it is believed a “policy failure” enabled Lowry to manipulate the medications she was providing to children.

“The concern has identified an area of improvement within the School District’s protocol for administering medication at Paxton School, one that we are dedicated to resolving,” a press release from the School District said.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident at Paxton from two perspectives, Adkinson said. It is looking at not only possible criminal activity but also taking into account the child protection aspect of what has been uncovered.

School District officials are working closely with the Sheriff’s Office, said Adkinson, who added that he is confident policies will be put in place to prevent what has happened at Paxton School from reoccurring.

“I feel confident Russell Hughes will do what is needed to correct any policy shortcomings,” he said. “He’s not afraid to do the right thing.”