UPDATE: Young girl’s death determined not due to tainted Halloween candy

UPDATED: Saturday, Nov. 3, 12 p.m.

LAKE ELSINORE — Authorities are hoping to calm area residents’ concerns after speculation, rumors, and reports that a child died after consuming tainted Halloween candy proved false, following an investigation into the girl’s tragic death.

Coroner officials have determined the victim died from “pre-existing medical conditions,” Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Brett Seckinger explained yesterday afternoon.

“There has been speculation on social media sites indicating the child died after consuming candy from trick or treating,” said Seckinger. “This rumor is untrue.”

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On Nov. 1, the morning after Halloween, deputies assigned to the Lake Elsinore Police Station responded to a medical aid call shortly before 11:30 a.m., after receiving reports of a 7-year-old girl in respiratory distress at a Lake Elsinore home on Audrey Dr. The 911 caller reported the child was not breathing and fire and rescue crews were immediately dispatched to the residence.

When deputies arrived at the scene they found paramedics and firefighters performing CPR on the child, according to Seckinger.

The girl, who has not yet been identified publicly, was rushed to an area hospital where she later died.

News and unsubstantiated reports of the girl’s death spread like an Internet wildfire, with many sharing and re-sharing false information that the victim died after eating tainted Halloween candy.

Based on the circumstances, Lake Elsinore PD investigators assumed the investigation and soon learned the victim “may have had an allergic reaction from a known food allergy the child had,” said Seckinger.

As the investigation was getting underway, the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s Bureau assisted investigators and their initial findings indicate the child’s death was due to pre-existing medical conditions.

“There have been no reports of any children becoming ill from Halloween candy in Lake Elsinore area, or surrounding communities,” Seckinger reported.

Lake Elsinore PD’s investigation is ongoing and anyone with additional information about this investigation is encouraged to call Lead Investigator Carranza of the Lake Elsinore Police Department at (951) 245-3300. Callers can refer to incident file number L183050062 and can remain anonymous.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

 

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 14 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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