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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office shared a story about Halloween candy tampering without any evidence

Posted By on Tue, Nov 9, 2021 at 10:36 AM

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On Friday night, Nov. 5, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) said it received a call from a mother of an 8-year-old girl who said her daughter’s mouth was cut after biting into a 100 Grand mini chocolate bar she got while trick-or-treating in Riverview.

The mother claimed she found “part of an Exacto blade in the chocolate, which was wrapped and sealed before eating.”

“It is despicable that someone would tamper with a child’s Halloween candy for their own cruel enjoyment,” Sheriff Chad Chronister wrote in a Facebook post about the incident, which was titled “Candy Warning Halloween 2021” and now has over 750 shares.

“As we continue to investigate this incident, we are reminding parents of the importance of checking over EVERY piece of candy your child received while trick-or-treating before letting them eat it,” Chronister continued. “There is no such thing as being too cautious when it comes to the safety of our children.”

While any act of tampering with children’s candy would be disgusting and indefensible, HCSO has confirmed to both Creative Loafing Tampa Bay and Orlando Weekly that it did not find a blade in the girl’s candy, nor did it find the candy piece at all.

The story has now been picked up by the Associated Press wire and various outlets across the country, without the full context of the fact that no blade was found.

“No pictures of the blade were provided,” HCSO told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay in an email “The mother said she threw it away with the piece of candy in question.”

HCSO attached a close up picture of a child with what appears to be a bloody mouth in the email.

When asked about Chronister confirming that someone tampered with candy without having proof of it, HCSO said their comments were based on the mother's statement and that she said her daughter's mouth was cut and bleeding after biting into her Halloween candy.

“When someone files a report alleging that they were stabbed, shot, or otherwise injured, similar comments have been made by our office regarding the heinous act of violence, despite the investigation being ongoing,” HCSO said. “We give victims the benefit of the doubt.”

HCSO went on to say that the victim lives in an apartment complex, and the trash was thrown down a shared garbage chute before HCSO officers could obtain the evidence.

The office went on to say that it couldn’t share any more information, as the investigation is ongoing.

A version of this story originally appeared at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

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