Police Probe Sudden Death of Anti-Vaccine Activist

The sudden death of a prominent anti-vaccination activist has led to a police probe.

Brandy Vaughan, 45, was found dead on December 7 by her 9-year-old son in the family's California home.

On Monday, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office announced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.

"The decedent has been positively identified and the death is believe [sic] to be a result of natural causes based on an autopsy exam conducted last week," Santa Barbara County Sheriff Public Information Officer Raquel Zick said in a statement. "The final cause and manner of death determination are pending toxicology screening which normally takes 4-6 weeks."

Vaughan, a former Merck pharmaceutical representative, was an outspoken critic of mandatory vaccinations and pharmaceutical companies.

She founded non-profit organization Learn The Risk in a bid to educate people "on the dangers of pharmaceutical products, including vaccines and unnecessary medical treatments," according to its website.

A fundraising website set up by close friend Tina Marie describes Vaughan as an "amazing warrior" and "loving mom."

"This past Thanksgiving Brandy, her son, and their dog took a road trip to come spend the holiday with our family," Marie wrote. "We enjoyed an amazing dinner, played games, and laughed together into the wee hours of the night. She told me that this is what she always dreamed of for her son, to be part of a large family enjoying time together... and wanted me to raise him for her, if anything should happen to her (as she had asked multiple times in the past). This last time that she asked was exactly 8 days before her passing."

The Santa Barbara resident and UC Santa Barbara alum once worked for Merck pharmaceutical as a sales representative for Vioxx, a painkiller eventually taken off the market.

Vaughan "never meant to take on the world's most powerful industry" her website reads, but "felt she had no choice when the industry's agenda to keep us all sick began to spiral out of control."

"From that experience, I realized that just because something is on the market doesn't mean it's safe," Vaughan writes. "Much of what we are told by the healthcare industry just simply isn't the truth."

In a Facebook post dated December 4 of 2019, Vaughan asks: "Ever wonder why I speak out against Big Pharma and suffer the major consequences? Because I will fight for my son and humanity and I will educate people on pharmaceutical product dangers until my last breath!"

Newsweek has contacted the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office for comment.

Anti Vaccine
File photo: A protester holds up a placard at a demonstration against vaccinations and government restrictions as prominent anti-vaccination activist Brandy Vaughan, 45, was found dead on December 7. JUSTIN TALLIS/Getty