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Two teens found dead in Huntington Beach with empty can of Four Loko [Updated]

January 24, 2011 |  3:25 pm

Two teens found dead in Huntington Beach with empty can of Four Loko

Police on Monday were investigating the deaths of two teenagers whose bodies were found in a vacant Huntington Beach apartment with an empty can of a caffeinated alcohol drink nearby.

Aaron Saenz, 15, of Westminster and Chelsea Taylor, 16, of Huntington Beach were found dead just after 10 a.m. Friday in the 15500 block of Huntington Village Lane, Orange County coroner's officials said.

Police found an empty can of Four Loko -- a sweet, caffeine-alcohol drink banned in some states because of health warnings -- in the apartment.

Huntington Beach Police Lt. Russell Reinhart said he believed the two died of drug- and alcohol-related causes, but the coroner’s office would not confirm this. The teens' autopsies were completed Monday, but further information was not released because the investigation was ongoing, said Mitchell Sigal, supervising deputy coroner for Orange County.

Apartment managers called police Friday after spotting the teens through an apartment window, but they did not know if the two were dead or alive, Reinhart said, according to the Hungtington Beach Independent.

The manufacturer of Four Loko, Phusion Projects, received a warning in November from the Food and Drug Administration that the product was unsafe, said Siobahn DeLancey, a spokeswoman for the federal agency.

Some states, including Utah, Michigan and New York, have banned the beverage, as have a number of college campuses across the country. It remains legal in California, Reinhart said.

[Corrected on Tuesday, 7:02 a.m.: A previous version of this post said the names of the victims were provided by Reinhart; they were provided by the Orange County coroner's office. It also reported that Reinhart said the two died of drug- and alcohol-related causes. Reinhart actually said he believed they died from those causes but that it wasn't definitive yet.] 

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Photo credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press

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