Scientologist accident victim is identified

The 20-year-old Hemet woman died after she fell in a transformer vault.

By Karin Marriott
Riverside Press-Enterprise

June 27, 2000

SAN JACINTO - A woman killed on the Church of Scientology's film studio grounds near San Jacinto is 20-year-old Hemet resident Stacey Myer, according to the county coroner.

She apparently was electrocuted when she fell in a transformer vault at Golden Era Productions north of San Jacinto, said Riverside County sheriff's spokeswoman Perri Feinstein-Portales.

"Her autopsy was performed today," Feinstein-Portales said Tuesday. "Right now the cause of death is still pending, however, there is nothing to indicate . . . she died at the hands of another."

The cause of Myer's death will not be confirmed until toxicology reports are received, which could take about eight weeks, Feinstein-Portales said. The young woman's body was badly burned in the accident.

The state is also investigating a number of safety issues, including whether employees at Golden Era were properly trained and if warnings were posted about high voltage.

The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokesman, Dean Fryer, said the agency expects the investigation may be done within three months.

Fryer said the state will look into how the woman got into the underground electrical vault where she died.

The young woman was a member of the church and worked in landscaping and maintenance, Golden Era General Manager Ken Hoden said.

The studio produces promotional and training films for the church.

Hoden said he spoke to the woman the day before the accident. At that time, she was trying to catch squirrels and put them in a cage so she could move them to another area. One squirrel had been killed when it ventured into the vault, he said.

The entrance of the 8-foot-deep vault was a ground-level manhole. Myer slipped on oil and died instantly after hitting a 7,200-volt wire, according to authorities. She was discovered by a Golden Era security guard.

If the film studio is in violation of state safety rules, Fryer said, fines can range from a few hundred dollars to $25,000.

Karin Marriott can be reached by phone at (909) 487-5230 or by e-mail at

Staff writer Katie Ismael contributed to this report.