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Investigators positive woman made up antifreeze attack story

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Toxicology tests are discounting the claim of a woman who later died of antifreeze poisoning that she was attacked in Auburn by a man who forced the toxic substance down her throat. Placer County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Reed said blood tests taken from Cynthia Smith on Dec. 3 at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital and days later at Mercy San Juan Medical Center show that there was more antifreeze in her system when she went to the Sacramento hospital than she had during the Auburn test. Smith died Dec. 10 in the hospital after lapsing into a coma. The later test shows that Smith consumed antifreeze after the attack she reported to deputies in North Auburn, Reed said. “We’re positive now that she wasn’t attacked,” Reed said. The test results casts a conclusion on an account told by Smith of an attack on a Friday night on the outskirts of the city. Smith, 36, of Roseville, was visiting a relative and took a walk alone on Edgewood Road. She would later contend that a white male with a thin build accosted her, forcing her to ingest antifreeze. Preliminary testing showed antifreeze in Smith’s system both in Auburn and Sacramento but more detailed analysis needed more time. The detailed results now available showed the higher level of antifreeze after she was admitted to Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Reed said. Reed added that investigators also found antifreeze at Smith’s house. Leslie Smith, Cynthia Smith’s father, said he was told Thursday that the coroner’s findings will rule his daughter’s death “accidental.” Smith said he had expressed disappointment early on that it had taken so long to get an investigation started in Placer County. “But what they did do and what has been done is thorough,” he said. Smith said that he didn’t believe his daughter took her own life by ingesting antifreeze containing the toxic ingredient methyl alcohol. But he’s still uncertain about the events surrounding her death. “What I feel right now is sadness,” Smith said. “I miss my daughter.”