LOOMIS, CA - The family that owns the senior care home that fed poisonous mushrooms to five residents said they are grieving over the incident.
Two residents of Gold Age Villa died Friday and three others remain hospitalized, along with the caregiver who picked the wild mushrooms and ate the same meal she prepared for them.
"We are asking God to comfort all of our residents and their loved ones through the difficulty of this unintentional tragic event," said Michael Borisov, the son-in-law of the care home owners, in a prepared statement outside the rural facility.
"Some of you have been a part of our family for years and all of you are very dear to us. We are grieving with you and our prayers are for you," he said.
The caregiver is said to be an eastern European immigrant who may not have been aware of the danger posed by mushrooms that pop up this time of year.
UC Davis plant pathologist Mike Davis said an average of six people die each year from mushroom poisoning in Northern California.
"Sometimes people come here from another country and misidentify a mushroom that they see here as something they knew as edible back home," Davis said.
The Placer County coroner identified the two care home fatalities as Barbara Lopes, 86, and Teresa Olesniewicz, 73.
A Sacramento attorney hired by the care home owners said he had just begun his investigation into the incident and could provide no additional information.
by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net