A second elderly resident living in a Bay Area Atria senior living facility has died after reportedly ingesting a substance. This latest case confirmed by NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit is out of Atria Walnut Creek. The resident there passed away Wednesday, nine days after the facility said the Walnut Creek resident "appeared to suffer a negative reaction to something they ingested."
The Contra Costa County Coroner's Office confirmed Thursday the individual was 94-year-old Constatine Canoun of Walnut Creek. It is currently unclear what the ingested substance was and whether it caused his death.
The Investigative Unit was alerted to this latest case after covering the recent death of another Atria senior living resident in San Mateo. In the San Mateo case, the senior living facility said that the weekend staff accidentally gave 93-year-old Trudy Maxwell cleaning fluid to drink instead of fruit juice. Two other residents there also drank the fluid and were hospitalized.
In response to NBC Bay Area's questions about Canoun's Walnut Creek death, facility officials issued a statement saying on August 23, just four days before the San Mateo incident, the resident [Canoun] ingested "something."
Atria Senior Living went on to say, "It is unclear whether the resident ingested anything harmful. We were informed last night that he passed away due to unknown causes." The facility said the staff members involved have been suspended pending the results of their internal investigation.
Walnut Creek police said they were consulted on this latest Atria Park Walnut Creek resident death but did not initiate a criminal investigation. Police say the coroner's office is investigating the cause of death.
Although he did not elaborate, the Investigative Unit spoke to Canoun's son who said he believes what happened to his father "is similar" to what happened in San Mateo.
"The health and safety of our residents are our highest priority," Atria Senior Living added in their statement to NBC Bay Area.