Kremmling man killed by cyanide
October 19, 2005
Steamboat Springs — Toxicology results show that a 55-year-old Kremmling man who committed suicide in front of three police officers Oct. 4 died of cardio-respiratory failure due to cyanide poisoning.
William Edward Campbell drank a glass of water laced with cyanide in front of Kremmling police Chief Scott Spade and two Steamboat Springs detectives at his Kremmling home. Campbell was being interviewed as a suspect in a string of bicycle thefts, police said.
During the interview, Camp–bell told the officers he needed a glass of water. When he returned, he stirred the water, drank it and told officers he had just taken cyanide. He died minutes later.
Campbell was rushed to the hospital, but he could not be revived.
Grand County Coroner Dave Schoenfeld said toxicology results received this week showed that Campbell died from organ failure as a result of the ingested poison.
Potassium cyanide is a chemical often used in the mining industry.
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Schoenfeld said he could not release exactly how much cyanide was found in the man’s body but that it was a relatively low amount.
“We checked the levels of the last 50 cyanide-related deaths and he was in the lower range of those — closer to the bottom,” he said.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is investigating the man’s death because police officers were involved. Such a procedure is typical.
Police Capt. Joel Rae said in an earlier interview that Campbell tried to steal a bike frame in September from Orange Peel Bicycle Service in Steamboat Springs. An employee was able to contact the man before he fled and get his license plate number, which led police to Campbell.
While officers went to Campbell’s residence, they reported seeing several bicycles in clear view of a window.
Four bicycles found in Campbell’s home matched bicycles that had been reported stolen from Ski Haus. The bikes, valued between $2,000 and $4,100 each, were returned to the store.
In addition to the Steamboat Springs bicycles, officers recovered bicycles from Frisco, Silverthorne and Denver.
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