Man Choked to Death After Roach-Eating Contest: Autopsy

Edward Archbold of West Palm Beach died after downing dozens of live roaches during a contest

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012  |  Updated 7:44 AM EDT
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Roach-Eating Winner Was Life of Party: Manager

NBC 6 South Florida

Edward Archbold was due to take home this female ivory ball python for winning the roach-eating contest at the Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach.

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Man Dies After Roach-Eating Contest

The winner of a roach-eating contest collapsed and later died after eating dozens of the insects and worms, the Broward Sheriff's Office said Monday. Edward Archbold, 32, of West Palm Beach, won the contest at the Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach on Friday. Witness Mason Kahzam and BSO spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion describe the incident.

Roach-Eating Winner Was Life of Party: Manager

Edward Archbold was the life of the party at the Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach on Friday, manager Billy Leonard said. "Everyone is terribly saddened, it was a complete shock," Leonard said of the death of Archbold, who got sick shortly after eating 26 bugs.
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An autopsy has concluded that a West Palm Beach man, who died after winning a roach-eating contest, choked to death.

The report released Monday says 32-year-old Edward Archbold of West Palm Beach died as a result of "asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents."

"Laboratory testing for lethal intoxicating substances, stigmata of anaphylazis, or metabolic derangements were negative," the Broward Medical Examiner's Office said in a statement.

The death has been ruled an accident.

Archbold had eaten 26 bugs, mostly discoid roaches, on his way to winning the contest in October at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach. The grand prize was a female ivory ball python, which sells for about $1,000.After the contest was over, Archbold wasn't feeling well and began to vomit after eating dozens of roaches and worms, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.

He later collapsed a few stores down from the reptile shop.

He was pronounced dead at Broward Health North, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities said none of the other contestants became ill.

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