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SANTA BARBARA, California, January 14, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has revealed that an autopsy exam of 45-year-old anti-vaccine activist Brandy Vaughan, who died suddenly on December 7, 2020 has been performed, and that her death is “believed to be a result of natural causes,” although the results of a toxicology report are still pending.

On December 14, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Raquel Zick announced on Twitter, “Coroners Detectives are conducting an investigation into the December 7th death of 45-year-old Brandy Vaughan of Santa Barbara.”

“The decedent has been positively identified and the death is believed to be a result of natural causes based on an autopsy exam conducted last week. The final cause and manner of death determination are pending toxicology screening which normally takes 4-6 weeks,” Zick shared.

“The investigation is conducted by coroners, detectives, and we have a doctor that works with them for the autopsy,” Zick told LifeSiteNews. Zick also noted that the toxicology reports “tend” to be released six weeks after they’re initiated.

Vaughan, a former sales executive for the pharmaceutical company Merck and the founder of, a website dedicated to educating people on the risks associated with vaccines, was reportedly found dead by her nine-year-old son on December 8. Children’s Health Defense reported that Vaughan had died of “gallbladder complications.” 

Soon after learning of her death, a friend of Vaughan’s, Erin Elizabeth, shared screenshots of a Facebook post Vaughan had written in December of 2019, in which she assured readers that she was not suicidal and did not take any drugs that would cause her to die suddenly.

“If something were to happen to me, it’s foul play and you know exactly who and why — given my work and mission in this life,” Vaughan had written on Facebook in late 2019.

Vaughan shared a video in 2015 describing intimidation tactics that were being used against her after she returned from a rally protesting SB277, one of the first mandatory vaccination for education laws in the U.S.

She described how she came home from Sacramento to find a key to her house, which she had previously hidden in her bushes, out on her doorstep. “That day I had my locks changed and I installed a $3,000 alarm system two days later,” said Vaughan.

She was later informed by her alarm company that someone had set off her alarm at 3:45 in the morning and immediately disarmed it with the master code, which Vaughan said no one had but her. Whoever entered proceeded to walk down her hallway, setting off the monitor sensor, and opened and shut her dining room window before leaving the house at 3:49 a.m.

“After the incident I talked to some security experts who have actually done intimidation for corporations, and they said, they were probably tapping your place.”

Vaughan described how only days later, she found her computer moved from its hiding place above her microwave to the middle of her kitchen floor. After leaving town for a couple of weeks, she returned with a friend to find her ladder, which she had kept in her garage, just outside a bedroom window of her house — the only window with the blinds kept open. A neighbor informed her that she hadn’t seen the ladder there the day before.

Only days after that, she found a duck figurine on one of her outdoor tables. “When I talked to the security experts, I said, I don’t understand the duck. And then it came to me that I had been on my phone having a lot of conversations [with] people asking me, are you staying at your house? What are you going to do? And I use the term repeatedly: I’m not staying at my house. I feel like a sitting duck, because they can get in at any time.”

“So that was actually quite disturbing to come home to. It’s just a clear message that, again, they are watching me.”

“It’s quite scary. After all these intimidation tactics it's very hard to feel safe and secure, but I am not gonna go away — I mean I’m not gonna be silenced, because these are important issues, and we need to expose what’s really going on behind the mandatory vaccination bills.”

“I hope that we can continue this fight. We may have lost the battle but we still have a war to win,” Vaughan concluded.

In the U.S., “Natural causes”  – as the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Officesays Vaughan’s is believed to be – refers to what is termed the “manner of death,” which is mainly a legal determination. Manner of death can be classified as natural, accident, suicide, homicide, or undetermined.

“Deaths that are solely due to disease or the aging process are regarded as being naturalin manner,” according to the document “Cause of Death and the Death Certificate: Important Information for Physicians, Coroners, Medical Examiners, And the Public,” issued in 2006.

However, “toxicology tests are usually ordered when someone is the victim of a crime, dies unexpectedly or dies for no obvious reason,” according to 

A paper published in 2017 on “natural and unnatural death” and “how it applies to medical death certification” notes that “Deaths that appear natural to clinicians and pathologists may be legally unnatural and vice versa.”

The California handbook on the Certificate of Death advises that besides listing the immediate cause of death, the individual completing a certificate of death is to “sequentially list conditions, if any,” leading to the immediate cause. 

Erin Elizabeth, a friend of Vaughan’s, reported on December 8 that “Brandy stated in black and white there would be a go fund me to investigate her death properly or do an independent autopsy which we fully support. Brandy was very specific about those requests including an independent autopsy, and we will report when those results come back since that will be the information we actually trust.”

Elizabeth has revealed that the GoFundMe page for Vaughan created by her friend Tina Marie, which had raised “nearly $70,000 and “was climbing thousands an hour,” was reported and shut down. A new fundraising campaign for Vaughan was started on Go Get Funding.


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