SANTA MONICA, Calif.
— A man who died from an accidental heart attack while opening a closet system has been identified as a closet cleaning employee at the home of his mother, the Santa Monica Police Department said.
Police said the cause of the man’s death was undetermined and the department did not disclose the names of the people involved.
“We want to make sure everyone knows that we take this very seriously,” Sgt. Brian Schiappa told a news conference Friday.
“The family is extremely appreciative of the outpouring of support and we are taking this seriously as well.”
The system was installed in the house by the father of a woman who died of luposomiasis, according to a statement released by the family.
The woman’s mother, a former employee of the home’s plumbing department, noticed that the closet’s plumbing had stopped working after she and the father had a disagreement, the statement said.
When the mother went to check on the plumbing system, the closet had shut off, causing her to faint.
The mother went back to check and saw the closet closed, and when she opened the closet door, she saw blood in the room, the police statement said, adding that the mother was unable to find a needle.
When the mother contacted the local coroner’s office, the coroner’s investigators told her the closet was likely used for cleaning.
They concluded that the woman died of a heart attack, according the statement.
Schiappa said it was not known whether the system malfunctioned during the cleaning.
Police did not immediately provide details about the closet cleaning, but said it appeared that it may have been a routine cleaning job.
The coroner’s investigator also told the mother that her son’s autopsy showed that he had luposis, which is a parasitic disease that causes a buildup of blood clots in the lungs, which can cause heart attacks.
The lupidiosis can be treated with medication and surgery, but it can also be triggered by exposure to germs or stress.
Investigators said the closet system did not have any security measures and that the owner of the house was aware of the problem.