Southern California

SoCal Firefighter Had Ecstasy, Alcohol in System: Report

A toxicology report finds evidence of caffeine, amphetamine, Ecstasy and alcohol for a firefighter who was found dead after a massive search that captivated the media

The Southern California firefighter who went missing during a mountain camping trip and was later found dead had Ecstasy and alcohol in his system when he died, according to a toxicology report obtained by NBC4 Friday.

Arcadia firefighter Mike Herdman, 36, disappeared June 13 in the Los Padres National Forest near Fillmore with a friend and fellow firefighter. His body was found June 27 on a cliff above the Sespe River in rugged terrain less than a mile from where he was last seen.

Herdman's blood tested positive for amphetamine, ethanol (drinking alcohol), caffeine, MDA and MDMA (Ecstasy), the report stated.

Herdman's death was ruled accidental and caused by "blunt force injuries," the Ventura County medical examiner said last month.

Officials found evidence at the campsite that alcohol and ADHD pharmaceutical drug Adderall were consumed, Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Buschow told NBC4 Friday.

A small bag with a residue consistent with an illicit drug was also found, but deputies did not know the drug was Ecstasy until the toxicology report was completed, Buschow said.

"As far as the illegal activity, there's not going to be any criminal charges in this case," he said.

It was not clear what the findings suggest about how Herdman died. Calls to the medical examiner regarding the toxicology report were not immediately returned.

Kate Larsen contributed to this report.

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