A Barrow County employee was rushed to the emergency room last Friday after ingesting an unidentified substance believed to be bleach.
The substance was placed in the employee’s water bottle. The container, a plastic bottle with a cap, had been left unsecured. Inv. Matt Guthas with the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office said it is unclear at this point whether the incident was a poisoning attempt or an accidental act.
“We cannot say that it is at this point,” Guthas said. “But, as a matter of procedure, we are treating it as if it is.”
The employee was working at the baseball fields when he took a sip from the water bottle and realized it tasted like bleach. The employee immediately spit out the liquid and rushed to the restroom to rinse his mouth.
The liquid caused a burning sensation in his mouth and he was subsequently transported to Barrow Medical Center for treatment.
Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office responded to the hospital where they interviewed the employee and took the water bottle into evidence.
“We have multiple investigators working this case from numerous angles,” Guthas said.
According to the original incident report, three other county employees work out of the same office as the victim. The victim reuses the water bottle each day and advised investigators that it was fine the previous day.
The bottle’s contents have been sent to the crime lab for analysis, Guthas said.