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Warrants, subpoenas issued in doctor's death

on May 04, 2013 10:50 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Authorities have said they’re considering both homicide and suicide as possibilities in the sudden death last month of a western Pennsylvania physician who was found to have high levels of cyanide poison in her system.

Dr. Autumn Klein, 41, died April 20 after falling ill at home three days earlier. She headed the women’s neurology department at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and taught at the university’s medical school, where her husband, Dr. Robert Ferrante, 64, teaches neurology and is co-director of the Center for ALS Research.

City homicide detectives obtained search warrants Thursday for the university and the home the couple shared with a daughter, Cianna, 6.

Investigators have also subpoenaed records about cyanide at the university to determine who had access to it, among other issues, Zappala said.

“We can’t rule out any possibility right now, whether it’s a homicide or suicide,” Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. said. “There’s a lot of work to be done.”

The complicated investigation likely won’t wrap up anytime soon, prosecutors and Pittsburgh police said Friday.

UPMC officials haven’t commented, nor has Ferrante. An attorney he has reportedly retained, J. Alan Johnson, a former federal prosecutor best known for his major league baseball drug prosecutions in the city in the mid-1980s, did not immediately return calls and an email to confirm that.

Klein’s mother, Lois Klein, of Towson, Md., said city detectives asked about her daughter’s marriage to Ferrante, who also has two adult children from a previous relationship.

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May 04, 2013 10:49 AM
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