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Autopsy being done in suspected toxic-chemical suicide of Fair Lawn man

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOUR READ IT HERE FIRST: The Bergen County Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy on the body of a 24-year-old man who is believed to have committed suicide by inhaling a mixture of household chemicals.

Because of the potential volatility and possible harmful effects of fumes, authorities had to wait until they could be safely removed before proceeding, Fair Lawn Police Sgt. Richard Schultz said this afternoon.

So although the call came in at 4:22 p.m., the Medical Examiner couldn’t take custody of the body until 12:12 this morning — nearly eight hours later.

A PSE&G worker summoned police after spotting the unconscious victim and noticing “a strange odor coming from … inside of the car,” Schultz said.

“Arriving on scene, the officers determined that there were unmarked containers of chemicals within the
car causing a sulfuric smell to emanate from within,” the sergeant said.

“Deeming it a hazardous material incident, the officers backed away from the vehicle and secured the scene until the arrival of the Fair Lawn Hazmat squad, Bergen County Hazmat and Bomb squads and [the] D.E.P.”

Schultz said that the experts “meticulously tested and retested the contents of the vehicle before declaring it safe for the officers to continue with their investigation.”

The man’s identification is being withheld pending proper notification of his next of kin. Schultz said he also couldn’t yet say exactly what was in the containers.

The vehicle was towed to the borough DPW yard for storage during the investigation, he said.

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