In early March 2014, the Morales family — father Ronnie Morales, two daughters (Elyana and Rayna), and pregnant girlfriend Jessica Rosado – left their home in Connecticut for a short vacation in Tampa, Florida. While there, they purchased steaks from the local Walmart and cooked a quick dinner in their rental home. Shortly after finishing the meal, all members of the family began hallucinating – the children trying to grab vivid colors from the air and the father seeing multiple sets of many-fingered hands sprouting from his wrist. The family rushed themselves to the hospital where it was confirmed – they had been dosed with the hallucinogenic drug LSD.
How the drug came to be placed in the meat is unknown. After experiencing odd hallucinations, Rosado called 911 about 4 p.m. on March 3 and reported that the Morales family was sick. Fearing for their lives, the family left before paramedics arrived and drove to the hospital, near their rented home at 2744 Bel Aire Circle. At the hospital, the family members experienced trouble walking and breathing. Breathing tubes were inserted into their airways and Jessica was rushed into surgery where she had an emergency C-section (she delivered a healthy boy).
Cuts from the bottom round steak dinner were tested by the local county medical examiner and to his surprise, showed the presence of lysergic acid diethylamide. The FDA assigned agents to assist Tampa police and conducted their own tests which confirmed the steaks contained LSD.
Authorities tracked the steak from the Walmart meat section to Cargill, the company that produced the meat. From Cargill’s meat processing plant, the movement of the steak was traced all the way back to a slaughterhouse in Newnan, Georgia. Authorities viewed security tapes from each facility, tested all the ingredients used in the processed steak meat, and examined the ovens used to cook the meat. The Morales family was questioned and given polygraph tests. In the end, authorities were unable to determine how the LSD came to be placed in the meat.