By Chris King •
Updated: 31 Oct 2023 • 21:45
Image of Swedish police vehicle.
Credit: Sundsvall/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
UPDATE: Tuesday, October 31 at 9:31 pm
WITH investigators still baffled about the death of a four-year-old girl in the town of Söderhamn, a poisons expert has suggested that she might have ingested an unknown drug.
Speaking with svt.se, Olle Matsson, a professor emeritus of chemistry at Uppsala University, explained that he saw several possible explanations for the mysterious death.
He said he would not rule out that the family could have been poisoned by some form of narcotic for which there is no test available.
After the young girl died and three other members of the family also fell ill, Matsson offered: ‘An obvious reason is that there are many substances, both natural and synthetic, that are toxic enough to cause death if you get a high enough dose’.
He continued: ‘Poisons such as the compounds of the semi-metal arsenic, and antimony for that matter, cause very clear gastrointestinal problems but are at the same time quite easy to find if you do the right analyses. And you should have done that by now’.
When asked if the cause was probably a totally different poison, he responded: ‘It should be something completely different, yes. There are quite a lot in the plant kingdom, things like morphine, digitalis and lily of the valley. But, they have very specific symptoms. And if you had seen those symptoms, you would have looked for those substances’.
Monday, October 30 at 10:12 pm
THE mysterious death of a four-year-old girl in the town of Söderhamn in Gävleborg County continues to confuse prosecutors in Sweden.
On Sunday, October 15, a family sought emergency care at Hudiksvall hospital due to their daughter’s symptoms of severe stomach pains. The next day, the little girl was dead.
An investigation into her unexplained death was subsequently launched by the police. As Chamber prosecutor Christer Sammen explained to aftonbladet.es: ‘There are different forms of investigations that must be carried out to get answers to questions’.
Sammen is now waiting for the test results that have been sent to the laboratory for examination. He thinks they could arrive by the end of the week, but they could also take longer.
He pointed out that they hope unravel important knots: ‘You map, you interrogate people, and examine what analysis results you get on samples. To be able to determine a cause of death, this is how you work’.
Several authorities are involved in the investigations to find out what has happened to the girl. These include the Poison Information Centre and the Swedish Medical Examiner’s Office.
According to Aftonbladet’s sources of information, samples were taken from, among other things, leftover food and vomit. They were then compared against 200 substances without a match, with the Public Health Authority also believed to have been involved.
‘For the time being, you can say that it is a mystery’, said Christer Sammens, who added: ‘I hope we get an answer in time’.
This shocking case has obviously shaken up the neighborhood in Söderhamn. The family’s apartment was sealed off for the first 24 hours, and members of the national bomb squad were also deployed.
A pizzeria where the family were known to have eaten before their daughter was taken ill was investigated by the police but no answers have yet been found.
The pizzeria was eventually eliminated from all suspicion and the cordons were removed. However, still hanging in the air is the question that all Söderhamn residents want an answer to: ‘Why did the four-year-old girl die?’.
Their 42-year-old neighbour, Jamal Haj Mousa, commented: ‘She was a very nice girl and everyone liked her’.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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