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Travel Inn Drowning Ruled Suicide

The Thanksgiving drowning at the Lake Elsinore Travel Inn has been ruled a suicide.

Foul play is not suspected in the death of a Murrieta woman whose body was found in the swimming pool last Thanksgiving.

Twenty-six-year-old Nicole Lambert Cruz’s cause of death has been but the manner of her death has been listed as suicide, according to Sgt. Joe Borja of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Cruz did have amphetamines in her system, but not enough to cause death, the sergeant said, noting that intoxication may have aided in the suicide.

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.

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.

NOTE: The beautiful photos and captions were submitted by Nicole Lambert Cruz's family.

Tina Tyra February 29, 2012 at 08:19 PM
How can a drowning be a suicide? That smells fishy.
LBV Collins February 29, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Not sure, Tina, but I guess she was unconscious due to drugs… and purposely went into the pool before going unconscious, maybe? (Just a guess.)
Roberto February 29, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Accidental drowning is more like it unless they are not disclosing something. The suicide is nothing but speculation and not plausible.
Diana February 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM
This is so sad whatever or however it happened. What a beautiful young Woman to have such a short life no matter what the reason. Prayers to the family for their loss.
Anthony March 01, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Something doesn't smell right about this!
Donna Kush Lambert March 01, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Nicole was the sweetest child, she was like an Angel. When she was little, I really felt blessed with such a sweet child. She was nurturing towards others, helping. She loved to sing and dance with these little groups of kids at shopping malls, she was non-competitive when I signed her up for basketball she gave the ball to the other team b/c she did not like rivalry, but she loved gymnastics and dancing and cheerleading. She was also very sensitive and we had a lot of trauma in our family. Her father stalked me for several years and we had to move several times, he hired someone to kill me, his own sister called the police, and then my brother tried to help get him away and my brother was murdered. I don't know what happened here, there are some missing pieces. As a mother I wish that I had been there to help my daughter and save her and hold her if she was in pain, but also like people pointed out, drowing in 4 feet of water would be pretty hard. Either way my daughter is dead and all I care about now is connecting with the spiritual world. All I ever wanted was to be a good mother, from the day she was born. I am devestated, crushed and can barely function.
Shannon Evans March 01, 2012 at 08:29 PM
How exactly does one commit suicide by drowning and in only 4 feet of COLD water? Something does not add up. I cry foul. Independent review, anyone? The city, the county, and federal drug enforcement in CA already loathes the family for their advocacy of access for medical marijuana in the state. I am not one to call for conspiracy theories but something just does NOT add up in this case.
Donna Kush Lambert March 01, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Another thing I would like people to know is that I became active regarding medical marijuana in 2005 when I had to spend a year on chemotherapy and I was on so many medications for the side effects that the doctor recommended that he was concerned b/c the combination of pain pills, valium for the tremors, sleeping pills b/c chemo can prevent sleep, anti-nausea all can shut down the part of the brain stem that controls breating and THE DOCTOR SUGGESTED I try marijuana in order to be able to cut down on the combination of pharmaceuticals I was taking. At age 42 I thought "How ironic, if I was a teenager I would have thought this was great". So yes, I had to track down through a friend of a friend to get some marijuana and it did work and I grew it and provided it to other legitimate patients at (even the cop testified) 30% below anything they had ever seen, and the judge did rule that I was "clearly not in it for profit" and he would "buy his gas from me". Nicole wasn't into marijuana, but she did support me and help me and I was proud of her that she came to a rally for my friend Joe Grumbine who was facing trial and she had spent many hours making a sign for that rally. It made me feel good that my child cared about what was important to me. People should know that this is a plant and the fed govt is controlled by pharmaceutical corporations, AND GROUPS THAT HAVE HIJACKED MMJ FOR PROFIT REASONS - Which incidentally have made death threats against me and others
Donna Kush Lambert March 01, 2012 at 09:25 PM
http://www.youtube.com/user/MemoriesandFamily/videos
Diana March 01, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Hmmm not sure I understand the Mom's posting or the display of pictures? Seems odd to me being a Mom to post personal photos and the story, perhaps it's just her way of reaching out or maybe it's just me.
Mary Juana Donna March 02, 2012 at 04:20 AM
The first pictures came when Nicole was found drowned in 4 feet of water on Thanksgiving day after nobody knew where she was for several days or who she was with. It was a shock and I added them to the article so people would know who she was. Nicole was a beautiful person both inside and out, not wanting her to be just another name or statistic, like all deaths, and those that happen unexpectedly, they seem to happen to somebody else, a name in a paper. Nicole was a beautiful human being, both inside and out. She was my daughter and my friend. I loved her and with this loss I am suffering such intense pain. As with the murder of my brother, which was in the media, and with the medical marijuana case against me which was in the media, I know that there are many good people out there, caring people, a community of people who read these things. Events that happen to people are very real that impact them the rest of their lives. I want them to know that Nicole was a very kind, sensitive person. One more statistic you could put off in a corner? NO. Each death, and each accident, each murder, suicide, is somebody's mother, father, sister or brother or somebody's child. Nicole is my child, and you bet, if something happened to her, which clearly it did, because she is dead, I want people to know what a wonderful person she was, how much she will be missed, and how very much I love her.
Rachel March 05, 2012 at 12:01 AM
THE MOTHER IS MY DEAR FRIEND AND HER POSTINGS ARE HER HEART AND FEELINGS- HER BEST FRIEND AND CHILD ARE NO LONGER HERE AND TO SAY SHE IS DEVASTATED IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. I DONT CARE HOW YOU WOULD GRIEVE FOR YOUR CHILDREN BUT DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT JUDGING MY GRIEVING FRIEND AND THE MEMORIES SHE WANTS TO REMEMBER OF HER DAUGHTER NICOLE. NICOLE LOVED TO SHOP WITH HER MOM-WATCH MOVIES- EAT HER MOMS COOKIES- HELL EVERYONE LIKES DONNAS COOKIES- THEY DID ALOT TOGETHER!THEY WERE MORE THAN DAUGHTER /MOTHER THEY WERE BEST FRIENDS. DONNA IM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS- NO WORDS CAN HELP- BUT IM HERE FOR YOU. SHES ALWAYS WITH YOU.THAT BOND WILL NEVER BE BROKEN. Rachel
Donna Kush Lambert March 05, 2012 at 05:03 AM
You are so great Rachel, I am glad you are my friend. Donna

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