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Mystery grows over dead Swedish couple

TT/The Local · 19 May 2009, 11:52

Published: 19 May 2009 11:52 GMT+02:00

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Forensic examinations are still ongoing at the couple's home in the small community of Viken on Sweden's south-west coast and police were on Tuesday unable to rule out a double murder.

"We are still in the dark as to how they died," said Annika Nilsson at Skåne police on Tuesday.

The couple were found dead in a building adjoining their house by neighbours on Sunday afternoon. They were found together and had apparently been cleaning up after a party with friends on Saturday evening.

The pair were still dressed in their attire for the party which had been organized to celebrated the man's sixtieth birthday.

The party was attended by friends of the man, a local vegetable farmer, and included several family members. Police began to trace and interview those who had attended the party on Sunday.

"We ate and sang, put a wreath on his head and showered him with presents. Then we had coffee and cake," one of the guests at the party said according to the newspaper Aftonbladet.

The medical-examiner who arrived at the scene was unable to determine the cause of death.

"It is quite common that we find dead people and are unable to determine cause of death," explained police spokesperson Charley Nilsson.

"But two at the same time, that is unusual," he added.

There is no indication that the couple were subjected to violence. There was neither any indication of a disturbance in the room in which they were found.

Current speculations indicate a poisoning but it will take several days for autopsy results to emerge.

Story continues below…

None of the other party guests interviewed by police have showed any signs of having been poisoned.

Police do not believe that the couple committed suicide. There is nothing to indicate that they were suffering from depression. They were happy and upbeat during the party on Saturday. There was neither any indication that the deaths were caused by an accident.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:19 May 21, 2009 by Yanksalot
Ok, two elderly people are found dead the night after they have a 60th bday party for one of them. Odd.

The fact that the police dont seem to be sure as to the cause of death, and there was no sign of struggle. Odd.

BUT the quote from police spokesperson Charley Nilsson,

"It is quite common that we find dead people and are unable to determine cause of death,"

...WTF? I watch enough CSI to know this should not be the case!

But seriously, Forget swine flu, put sweden on RED alert for inept police!
16:00 May 21, 2009 by Puffin
I think you've been watching too much CSI if you think that the medical examiner just turns up and gets a 'Gil Grissom' vision of how the death occurred - even they have to take samples back to the lab

In any case you need to take the whole quote in its context

This indeed is true - you often cannot determine the cause of death at the scene - you have to take the stuff back to the lab and run more tests - here you have a mystery of a couple found dead the day after they had given a dinner for friends - obviously having died directly afterwards as they were still in their party clothes and the table had not been cleared:

- they were found lying side by side

- there was no evidence of violence or injury

- everyone at the party ate and drank the same food

- the autopsy was unable to find a cause of death

However this doesn't mean that the Police have just given upp - they have brought in the national forensic science lab (Rättsmedicinverket) to test for unusual poisons which might not show up on standard testing - the result are said to be "helpful" for the police - although havn't been released


However there are some types of poisons that do not show up after a few hours - also in Sweden some people do die out in the forests and their body's are not found for weeks or months - this often means that it is often not possible to prove and exact cause of death when there is no soft tissue to test.
16:28 May 21, 2009 by Yanksalot
I didnt mislead with the quote, nor take it out of context, sorry if it appeared that way.

They couldnt determine cause of death at the scene, nor after autopsy. But apparently, according to the spokesperson, this is quite common.

Thats more or less how I read it, and if that is quite common, its quite scary.

But your correct, Gill would have this wrapped up by now and would have provided some cool visual effects to boot!
22:42 May 21, 2009 by Puffin
Given the previous sentence about arriving at the scene - I interpreted her comments as relating to the 'crime' scene and being unable to determine cause of death - which would be a common occurance
07:50 May 22, 2009 by Puffin
Apparently now that the test results are in - the police are becoming more convinced that this is an accidental death - carbon monoxide poisoning
08:43 May 22, 2009 by Jasoncarter
Which seems pretty logical - what does seem pretty stupid is the police spokesman coming straight out when the couple were found saying 'it's probably murder'. Not the most responsible approach for the police to take.
12:50 May 22, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
Carbon dioxide.
13:11 May 22, 2009 by pathbon
Please note that there are the most modern high-tech

methods of killing people at a distance, satellite

distant scanners, nano-tube sensors, RFID etc., etc, and

these modern methods are also used by organized crime

groups on the rise globally. Achtung!!!!!!
22:04 May 22, 2009 by Kaethar
How did they get poisoned? My first thought upon hearing the story was suicide... you know, the whole "let's die together" story.
23:34 May 22, 2009 by Puffin
I think that they are now rechecking the buildings - the party was not held in their house but in an old green house - the guy was a tomato farmer - I beleive that carbon dioxide is often pumped into greehouses to aid pollination - so perhaps this was the cause.
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