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Lake Elsinore Travel Inn Death Ruled Drowning

Police say Nicole Lambert Cruz's cause of death was drowning, but there is no word on how it happened.

The investigation into a Murrieta woman who was found dead in the swimming pool on Thanksgiving continues, but authorities are releasing few details.

Today, Cpl. Courtney Donowho, spokeswoman with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, said "the cause of death is drowning, but there is no further information available at this time.”

It is unclear how Lambert Cruz drowned and who found her; motel staff are referring reporters calls to police.

According to the deceased's mother, Lambert Cruz was living with her grandfather in Murrieta when she went missing November 19. “She left for a walk and never came back,” said Donna Lambert.

Details from the autopsy and toxicology reports have not been made available.

The Lambert family had been in the media spotlight prior to Thanksgiving for their staunch support of the medical marijuana movement.

Donna Lambert’s elderly father Don, who Nicole lived with, had been a fixture at Murrieta City Hall where he regularly advocated on behalf of medical marijuana patients. Don took up the cause after his daughter Donna was arrested in 2009 for marijuana possession in San Diego County.

Her case garnered significant media attention. She was accused of providing cannabis to an undercover police detective who posed as a medical marijuana patient. The sting was part of a larger investigation dubbed Operation Green Rx spearheaded by San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

In 2010, however, felony charges against Donna Lambert were dismissed.

Wizard Without Remorse November 30, 2011 at 05:18 AM
And you would know this from personal experience?
Brad November 30, 2011 at 11:51 PM
This poor business is going to have to change it's name! This is just one of several people who have died here!
Kendal Gergis December 01, 2011 at 05:49 AM
Is anyone else interested in the real questions like, I dunno, what the hidden blood report contains? The thing about it, and in my experience what Iv'e noticed, is that if the person has a clean blood sample, it is never withheld from the media.
Don Lambert December 03, 2011 at 10:07 AM
Nicole's family expresses our thanks for the kind words and prayers on our behalf. The memorial service is being held in San Diego where my granddaughter Nicole has lived for years prior to moving in with me in Murrieta about two months ago. Nicole's mother is Donna. Donna's sister has come from out of state to comfort and encourage her, Nicole's younger sister has come from out of state to express her love for Nicole and be with her mother. I intend to move some pictures of Nicole from her childhood and youth from the family and friends section of my Facebook into an album that will be open to everyone. Donna, a simgle parent, has been through a lot this past week dealing with all this and grieving, plus making arranging about Nicole and planning the Memorial Service, plus many hours hunting for clues that might help the investigators. Your continued prayers are appreciated. I was informed Thanksgiving evening, The next day I drove up and looked around and took pictures andput themon facebook so family and anyone could see the surroundings. The next day Nicoles mother drove up from San Diego and spent hours down along the river talking to persons living under the bridges and trees near the motel, since it was said that some persons there had heard or seen something relevant about Nicole.
Greg John Peterson December 04, 2011 at 12:11 AM
A "street news" reporter for 40 nearly years, I've covered many drownings - and this case is suspicious. Maybe it is because police have not released all the details - but on face value - you do not go out for a walk on Nov. 19th - and then get found dead 5 days later in a shallow swimming pool without foul play. And it would extremely unlikely that she would chose to purposely or accidentally die in this pool - just not the way its is done without foul play. I could list dozens of questions that are not answered by what is provided in this account - for the family's sake I hope their questions get answered. Maybe if the police released all details - this would not seem suspicious - let's hope and pray their hearts are truly into investigating this case. I live in Michigan - but ran across this article (after reading another) because my mom's side of the family is from Riverside - and California in general - so I sometimes read news items from that area. May God have and hold Nicole - and give others the strength to get to the bottom of this mystery. Respectfully, Greg (Coneybeare) Peterson 1-906-401-0109 Negaunee, MI

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