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Investigators Rule Out Drug Tampering in Everett Man’s Death

March 20, 1991

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) _ A medical examiner ruled Wednesday that a cyanide death was a suicide unrelated to several poisoning cases caused by tainted cold capsules.

Snohomish County medical investigator Ken Stensrud said the March 11 death of Jack Durham had no connection to three cases last month of people who took cyanide-tainted Sudafed 12 Hour capsules.

Two people died and one became critically ill.

Laboratory tests showed the poison in Durham’s body was similar to cyanide Durham had access to at an electronics plant where he worked, Stensrud said.

Earlier, the FBI said the Everett man’s death appeared to be unrelated to the other poisonings.

Durham, 30, told authorities he took Sudafed four hours before calling for help, but there was no evidence of the over-the-counter cold remedy at his home, said William Gore, an FBI agent in Seattle.

The victims of Sudafed-cyanide poisoning were affected immediately after taking a tainted capsule.

Tests showed Durham had decongestant in his body, but it was an ingredient found in more than 60 cold medicines on the market.

No arrests have been made in any of the Sudafed cases.

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