A Van Nuys man died early Thursday after police, who were responding to a domestic dispute, found him unconscious near a small container of heated potassium cyanide.
Investigators said they were investigating the death of Rodolpho Tamaseo, 50, as an accident or suicide.
Tamaseo operated a jewelry repair business in his garage in the 6700 block of Jellico Avenue, where he was found before dawn Thursday, said Michael Little, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman. Tamaseo kept supplies of potassium cyanide in the garage for cleaning gold, Little said.
It is legal to buy potassium cyanide in relatively small amounts for such home-based businesses, Little said.
Police said they were summoned to the Tamaseo home after a report that Tamaseo had struck his wife.