A suburban Minnesota woman was arrested after sending her neighbours a disturbing note asking to "taste" their children. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

A 38-year-old Minnesota woman is accused of sending neighbours anonymous notes in which she asked to "taste" their children. The woman, identified as Carrie Pernula, was charged on 22 October by summons with stalking and disorderly conduct, Champlin Deputy Police Chief Ty Schmidt said.

The first anonymous note arrived on 27 September by post, CBS affiliate WCCO-TV said. It reportedly said: "The children look delicious. May I have a taste?" Pernula's neighbours have two elementary school-aged children.

WCCO-TV reported the family called the Champlin Police Department and posted on a Champlin community Facebook page, writing: "Opened our mail today to this letter. Obviously my stomach started doing somersaults."

The incident also brought fear to the neighbourhood's many families with young children. "Families were all terrified for their children," neighbourhood resident Esme Murphy told KOMO News. Murphy said news of the notes quickly spread through social media.

According to The Associated Press, the family then received magazine subscriptions addressed to "tasty children". Police were able to trace the magazine subscriptions back to Pernula, who was arrested on 16 October. Pernula was released on 19 October.

"She was angry because the kids were leaving things in her yard and I think being a little noisy, being kids, the way kids are," Schmidt said of Pernula. Her attorney, Debbie Lang, said it was "an unfortunate and complicated situation for everyone involved."