The makers of Sudafed 12 Hour capsules pulled the popular cold medication off store shelves across the nation as federal authorities investigated two deaths and an injury involving cyanide-laced capsules.
Burroughs Wellcome ordered the recall of about 1 million packages on Sunday, advising customers to return the product to the store where they bought it. The day before, state and federal officials revealed they were investigating the poisonings, which took place in the Tacoma and Olympia areas.Authorities said, they are still trying to determine if the victims had anything in common other than their separate purchases of the tainted over-the-counter cold remedy. Investigators gave no possible motive for the tampering.
Meanwhile, a capsule that showed signs of tampering was returned to a Tacoma-area store after the recall order was issued Sunday, authorities said. Tests were being conducted to determine whether it contained cyanide.
FBI agent Dick Thurston said the four Sudafed packages came from different stores.
Local police and federal authorities launched an investigation Feb. 15 after learning that Jennifer Meling, 28, of Tumwater, an Olympia suburb, had become seriously ill after taking Sudafed laced with cyanide two weeks before.
Then, on Friday, authorities learned that Kathleen Daneker, 40, of Tacoma had Sudafed and cyanide in her body when she died Feb. 11.
On Sunday, authorities learned that Stanley McWhorter, 44, of Lacey died Feb. 18 of cyanide poisoning after taking Sudafed capsules.