NJ authorities searched Cullen's home for medication stockpile

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The Pennsylvania home of a former nurse who claims to have killed up to 40 patients was searched late last year by New Jersey authorities, who were expecting to find a stockpile of the heart medication linked to the overdoses of two patients.

While no digoxin was found during the Dec. 4 raid on Charles Cullen's home in Bethlehem, authorities recovered 177 pink and pink-and-white antihistamine pills -- used to combat allergies, colds and skin irritations -- and five rolls of undeveloped film, according to reports.

Further details of the search and the items seized were not available.

Daniel Baldwin, a detective with the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office and its lead investigator in the case against Cullen, sought the search warrant because Cullen took "medically alarming" amounts of digoxin from an automated drug cart at Somerset Medical Center.

"Because of Charles Cullen's alarmingly high level of activity involving digoxin -- and the frequent accountings showing missing and unaccounted for quantities of this lethal heart medication -- it is my belief that he is stockpiling these medications," Baldwin wrote to a Pennsylvania judge in seeking permission to search Cullen's home and car.

According to the report, Cullen had accessed the digoxin compartment of the drug cart 27 times from the time he was hired until June 28, 2003, when a fatal digoxin overdose was given to the Very Rev. Florian J. Gall. Cullen has since been charged with killing Gall and attempting to kill a second patient, both withlethal injections digoxin.

Cullen, 44, allegedly confessed to killing numerous patients during his 16-year nursing career at nine hospitals and one nursing home in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. However, prosecutors have not indicated how much information he provided, and his attorney has said Cullen will not cooperate further unless he is given immunity from the death penalty.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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