After allegations that someone put pepper spray on a Puerto Rican beauty contestant's clothing, police said tests found no traces of the substance on the woman's belongings. An investigation was launched Saturday to find if anyone has lied to police.
Miss Puerto Rico Universe Ingrid Marie Rivera and pageant organizers claimed that someone had laced her makeup and doused her clothing with a chemical they believed to be pepper spray during the Nov. 23 contest in an attempt to knock her out of the running.
Rivera, 24, broke out in hives and swelling during the pageant and was forced to ice down her face and body backstage during the event. Witnesses said her face, ears and eyes become reddish and slightly swollen, but there are no photos, except one after she took cortisone and used the ice packs.
On Friday, the Forensic Sciences Institute said a brush and gown, delivered to police four days after the pageant, contained no remnants of capsicum, pepper spray's active ingredient. They did not test for other chemicals. But Police Superintendent Pedro Toledo said that if it was really pepper spray, it would remain on the materials after several days.
Toledo said he would investigate whether anyone provided false information to his detectives, which would be a felony, but said he doesn't believe Rivera is lying.
"She has an agent assigned and she will be interviewed," he told Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "I don't know Miss Rivera, but I think, my indication is that she was not involved. If this is a publicity stunt, I believe I would -- it would have been from somebody at the pageant."
In a statement, the owner of the Miss Puerto Rico Universe Pageant said "we stand by our story that the sabotage took place. There is new evidence that will prove what Ingrid Rivera said is the truth. We have decided to wait for the investigation to be concluded before we continue speaking to the press."
Rivera continues to maintain that her alleged assault did occur, and says the controversy will only make her stronger as she competes in the Miss Universe pageant in Vietnam next July.