Montgomery County Coroner uses crime lab to scan Halloween candy

Local News

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – The Montgomery County Coroner’s office used their crime lab technology for a public service for the first time on Friday, to give parents peace of mind.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on November 1, anybody that received candy from trick or treating was able to bring it to their crime lab where X-ray equipment was set up to scan the candy for any foreign object, like needles or razor blades, that could be harmful if bitten into.

Dr. Kent Harshbarger, the Montgomery County Coroner, said at first, they were not getting many calls from concerned parents, but after two razor blades were found in candy Halloween night in Colerain Township, that quickly changed the next morning.

On Friday morning, Shirley Collins was the first in line to get her kids’ candy X-rayed.

She said she traveled all the way from New Carlisle, seeking that sigh of relief.

“My son’s 28-years-old and when he was like 6 or 7, we were going trick or treating and we found a razor blade in one of his apples,” said Collins. “Now I have a six-year-old, so I want him protected in all ways.”

Collins said she encouraged every parent to get their candy checked because from her own experience, it’s so comforting knowing that her kid can now pick any piece of candy from their bucket and know they’re safe.

“It really upsets me that people would jeopardize a child,” said Collins.

Harshbarger told 2NEWS during his time, his office has never had a case of tampered candy but that it does happen.

In fact, this Halloween in Colerain Township, two different families said they found razor blades in their kids candy from trick or treating in a neighborhood.

“It is a very low risk, I don’t think it’s very common to have it, but it is a real risk,” said Harshbarger. “If you have a concern, check the packaging if they’re individually wrapped, and for homemade things, unless you know where they came from, treat them different.”

He said about 20 parents made appointments to get their candy under the X-ray, but anticipated many more walk-ins after that incident in Hamilton County.

Harshbarger said the crime lab technology used is normally reserved for law enforcement, and this is the first year they offered it as public service.

He assured parents the whole process only takes about ten minutes and is completely safe.

“The candy will not be affected at all by the X-ray,” said Harshbarger. “Obviously longer term dosing could, but it won’t affect the candy in any meaningful way.”

Harshbarger added they plan to continue this program in the future and that depending on how successful it is, they could possibly add more X-ray machines or extend the days they scan the candy.

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