Fullerton Police collect flutes with possible body fluid from Rolling Hills Elementary School – Orange County Register
FULLERTON – Police continue to collect homemade flutes distributed by a non-profit organization to schools in Southern California as part of the expansion of the criminal investigation to determine if a suspect may have contaminated the instruments of music with sperm.
Rolling Hills Elementary in Fullerton is the last school to recall the flutes.
“It is important to note that at this point there is no indication that these streamers are in fact tainted,” said the Sgt. Jon Radus said in a statement Wednesday, October 4. âIt is done with a lot of caution. “
Like other police departments, Fullerton Police are collecting the streamers for the California Department of Justice and the United States Postal Inspection Service, which is handling the case.
The California Department of Justice and the United States Postal Inspection Service declined to release details of the investigation, particularly how it was determined that the streamers may have been contaminated or if anyone had been detained or arrested.
In Orange County, several school districts said the flutes were distributed as part of a program called Flutes Across the World, a non-profit organization based in Ojai.
A website for Flutes Across The World has been removed.
However, an archived version of the website indicates that since the inception of Flutes Across the World in 2009, thousands of children in the United States have created pairs of decorated flutes – one to keep and one to give to a child of another country.
Flutes Across The World has led musical missions to Haiti, the Philippines, Honduras, and Native American reservations. The organization has also sent “flute ambassadors” to Nepal, Africa and parts of Southeast Asia, according to the website.
John Zeretzke, a founding musician of Flutes Across The World, did not respond to phone calls or emails seeking comment.
Flutes Across The World had partnered with school districts in Orange County and Los Angeles County, as well as the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.
Representatives from at least five school districts said their students may have used contaminated flutes: Anaheim Elementary, Fullerton and Fountain Valley school districts, and Newport-Mesa and Capistrano unified school districts. Children who took a music class at Bowers Museum’s Kidseum in Santa Ana may also have used flutes.
About 30 people attended a meeting on Tuesday evening at Santiago de Santa Ana Primary School, where three classes participated in a Flutes Across America program in June 2016.
âThe protection of your student and the safety of your student is our greatest concern,â Stefanie Phillips, superintendent of the Santa Ana Unified School District, told parents. âThere is no indication that our students in particular were touched by any particular flutes. But very cautiously, we’re trying to get as many flutes from homes or wherever they are so that we can hand those flutes (to investigators.) “
Several concerned parents asked during the meeting whether they should have their children tested for blood-borne pathogens, such as hepatitis B and C or HIV.
Dr Randall Jones, a doctor from Santa Ana who works with the district, said students are in little danger with the flutes.
“The risk of a medical problem is practically zero,” he said. “As a parent, I wouldn’t be worried at all.”
However, some parents left the meeting still worried.
“It’s overwhelming and a little disgusting,” said Maria Vieyra, whose son received one of the flutes. “I do not know what to do.”