A lengthy investigation and evidence collected in a report of tampering with Halloween candy has determined the initial report was a hoax, leading police back to the reporting citizen.
Oakdale Police Chief Scott Heller said the department has continued to dedicate resources to investigate last year’s report of tampered candy discovered on Halloween night, Oct. 31, 2018. At that time, Mathew Blackcloud, 32, of Oakdale, reported finding small metal objects inside several items of commercially packaged chocolate candies that his children reportedly received while trick or treating in the Burchell Hill neighborhood. At the time of Blackcloud’s report, there were no other similar reported incidents. The event caused significant concern throughout the community. During the course of the investigation, over the past several months, Blackcloud consistently told detectives that he did not know how the candy had become tampered.
Detectives continued to follow the evidence with various forensic examinations, including DNA processing, and it ultimately led them back to Blackcloud, the chief noted. The investigation indicated Blackcloud placed the metal objects inside the candy he turned over to police the night of the report.
“We have determined this report of metal in candy was a hoax perpetuated by Mr. Blackcloud,” said Heller. “I want to thank the tenacious efforts of our investigators and our local and federal partners, along with the Serological Research Institute Forensic Lab, for their assistance in bringing closure to this case. Likewise, we want to thank our community for the generous donations and support during Operation Halloween 2.0 ensuring our kids didn’t get robbed of their trick or treating experience as a result of this hoax.”
Following the candy scare on Halloween where many threw away collected candy, Oakdale Police and the community partnered and provided free certified candy replacement treats at the police department. The event was well attended and police also had some of their vehicles on display and had several officers and CAPS volunteers on hand to meet with youngsters and provide them with replacement bags of Halloween candy treats.
Following the investigation, Blackcloud was arrested for filing a False Report of Food Tampering. Further court action is possible.