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Prosecutors consider charges in deaths of Layton girls after pesticide use

Published: Tuesday, April 13 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

Toone family photo

Toone Family

FARMINGTON — Prosecutors met Monday to consider criminal charges in the case of two sisters who died after their Layton home was treated with the pesticide Fumitoxin.

Layton City Attorney Gary Crane said those involved in the meeting determined there was "additional information, additional documents that needed to be obtained" before a decision can be reached.

"We're not saying we're going to file charges or not file charges," Crane said. "Once we have the additional information, we'll make a decision."

Authorities believe Rebecca Kaye Toone, 4, and Rachel Ana Toone, 15 months, inhaled phosphine fumes emitted from tablets of Fumitoxin, a rat poison placed around their home on Feb. 5 by an employee of Bountiful-based Bugman Pest & Lawn.

The girls had elevated levels of phosphorus in their bodies, according to a Utah Medical Examiner's Office report. They also had "lung damage consistent with inhaling a harmful substance," the report said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week announced more stringent regulations for Fumitoxin, in response to the girls' deaths. The agency has now banned the product's use around homes and increased "buffer zones" for its use near non-residential buildings that could be occupied by people or animals.

Crane said prosecutors hope to have the remaining information gathered by next week, after which a decision can be made about whether charges will be filed. He declined to say who prosecutors may file charges against or what charges might be filed.

— Geoff Liesik

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