Report: Scientist Poisoned With Arsenic

December 13, 2004
Associated Press Writer

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. -- A nuclear physicist who died suddenly last summer was poisoned with a huge dose of arsenic, investigators said Monday in ruling the case murder.

Police in this St. Louis suburb disclosed the results of toxicology tests on 67-year-old John Mullen, who died June 29, hours after complaining of an upset stomach at his home.

Capt. Ed Nestor refused to discuss any possible suspects or a motive in the death.

Nestor said Mullen, who had been divorced for many years, largely lived alone but was letting a girlfriend's daughter stay with him at the time he fell ill.

Mullen had been a research scientist with McDonnell Douglas, the St. Louis-based aerospace giant that was folded into Boeing Co. in the late 1990s.

Nestor said police "treated this case as suspicious from the beginning," but he would not elaborate. He would not say how Mullen was exposed to the arsenic or where it came from.

Household products such as rat poison and wood preservatives sometimes contain arsenic. Symptoms of arsenic poisoning mimic those of other ailments and can include vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.,0,3584392.story?coll=sns-ap-nation-headlines

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