TAMPA. Florida (WFLA) – Police in Tampa, Florida say a family of four was hospitalized Monday night after eating meat contaminated with the drug LSD.
Ronnie Morales started feeling sick after dinner on Monday, and the family called 911. Upon arriving at the hospital, his 9-month pregnant girlfriend Jessica Rosado also started feeling sick. Doctors induced labor, and she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
At the hospital, two children, Elyana Serrano and Rayna Serrano, also started experiencing hallucinations and felt sick.
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor says the victims had multiple symptoms.
“It was the physical symptoms that they had, which included hallucinations, dizziness, rapid heart rate and difficulty breathing,” Castor said.
Morales and the girls were released on Wednesday. Rosado and her son were released from the hospital on Thursday.
Investigators say it is not clear how the drug ended up in the family’s meal. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor says the source is a mystery.
“The family has no idea where this may have come from. And there’s no indication of any involvement on the part of the family,” said Chief Castor.
Police say the bottom round steak was purchased at the Walmart at 1501 N. Dale Mabry Highway. Chief Castor says the store is cooperating fully with the investigation.
Walmart spokesperson Dianna Gee sent out the following statement:
“Like everyone else in the community, we are deeply disturbed about this situation and are taking it very seriously. We want answers and we’re committed to working with officials to get to the bottom of this.
We know our customers expect safe, quality food and we require our suppliers to meet the highest of food safety standards.
It’s unclear where and how the food was tampered with or if the tampering occurred after purchase. However, out of an abundance of caution, we have pulled the remaining product from the store.
We have been in touch with our supplier and they tell us they have no reports of similar incidents.
We are reviewing our store’s surveillance video to see if we can find any information that might assist in the investigation. At this point, we’re not aware of any suspicious activity.”
Police do not know at this point whether a crime was committed. The family had no idea they had been poisoned until they felt ill.
“There was no indication that we know of right now that the meat tasted funny,” said Police Chief Jane Castor.
The Federal and Florida Department of Agriculture, along with the Hillsborough County Health Department, are investigating the case with Tampa detectives.