4-year-old and grandmother killed by poison, police say

When a 4-year-old boy, Wilhelm Ducatl, died of a strange stomach illness in Brooklyn last May, it seemed the boy had passed away of natural causes. But when a doctor performed an autopsy, he discovered a strange rash on the boy’s body and ordered a toxicology test.

Detectives who then explored the boy’s neighborhood then discovered a surprising connection: Just a few months earlier, Wilhelm’s 63-year-old grandmother, Tofoon Man, also died after being hospitalized. for those weird stomach aches – and similar rashes.

Now, investigators say the similarities between the deaths of the woman and her grandson are not coincidental – and both were killed, most likely by a substance found in the body. The rodent poisoning incident may have been added to their food while at the boy’s home in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.

After the city medical examiner’s office discovered that Wilhelm might have been poisoned, Ms. Man’s body was exhumed and investigators determined the two did not die of natural causes.

Police say no one has been arrested in connection with the case as of Thursday morning. Ms. Man’s daughter, who is also Wilhelm’s mother, was interviewed twice by investigators last year in connection with the death, but has not been charged.

Earlier this winter, the city’s medical examiner’s office ruled that the official cause of death for Ms. Man and her nephew was acute thallium poisoning. The Police Department released those findings on Thursday – exactly one year after Ms. Man’s death.

Police say Ms. Man also had an address on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, but it is unclear whether she lived full-time at the Brooklyn home or was only visiting at the time of her death.

Outside the six-story Brooklyn apartment building where Mrs Man and her grandson fell ill, television crews gathered on the sidewalk on Thursday afternoon as neighbors passed. Several people said they recalled police activity outside the building about a month ago.

Thallium has been used as an ingredient in rodent poison since 1972. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but has since been banned in the United States because accidental exposure can cause significant harm to humans. The effects included stomach pain and vomiting, “followed by multiple organ failure, brain injury, and death.”

Thallium, a heavy metal, is no longer produced in the United States, but is still imported to make some electronic devices and medical materials.

It can spread through food contamination or spread as particles into the air. And because it’s tasteless and odorless, the CDC says it’s “used by killers as a hard-to-detect poison.”

Karen Zraick contribution report. Susan C. Beachy research contributions.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/nyregion/grandmother-boy-poisoned-thallium.html 4-year-old and grandmother killed by poison, police say

Fry Electronics Team

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