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Body found at Huntington Beach detox center

April 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The discovery of a 28-year-old man's body Monday morning is the latest and most serious incident at West Coast Detox Services facility in Huntington Beach. Neighbors have complained to police about the rehabilitation center several times.

The state is investigating. Police identify him as 28-year-old San Juan Capistrano resident Jason Redmer, a patient at West Coast Detox Services. His cause of death is unclear.

"We don't know at this point. The coroner is conducting an investigation and they'll do an autopsy and we'll find out later on down the road," said Huntington Beach Police Lt. Mitchell O'Brien.

"It's very sad when anybody loses their life but at the same time I'm not entirely surprised," said Huntington Beach resident Kristine Callahan.

The facility helps people detoxify before entering treatment programs. Police say since West Coast Detox Services opened last year, they've responded to a variety of complaints. Neighbors worry about an alleged lack of supervision at the home, which sits next to an elementary school.

Laura and David Rooks' backyard is right behind West Coast Detox Services. Last July, Laura Rooks found a pen. Police believed it contained trace amounts of heroin. Discarded foil, according to a police report, appeared to be used to smoke narcotics. A few weeks ago someone tossed cigarette butts over the Rooks' fence.

"It's been more than a year that we've been concerned of our safety and just the problem that's been going on in the backyard," said Laura Rooks.

West Coast Detox Services Executive Director Don Ramsey had no comment Monday. In the past he said he had only heard about the discarded foil incident. He said they intensified searches of clients after that.

"We tested the people that were in the home. They all tested negative," said Ramsey on November 9, 2011.

The city performs code enforcement. Officials say neither the facility nor the home next to it, which neighbors call a "sobriety house," has had any code violations. The facility is licensed by the state until 2013.

"Our hands are basically tied because they are legal under the state law to be allowed there as long as there's only six residents living there. So we basically have to follow that law. Hopefully they are good neighbors," said Laurie Frymire, a spokesperson for Huntington Beach.


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