Pittsburgh police go to Boston amid cyanide probe

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Pittsburgh police were in Boston this week investigating the death of UPMC physician Autumn Klein, who died last month with "toxic levels" of cyanide in her body.

Dr. Klein and her husband, Robert J. Ferrante, moved to Pittsburgh from Boston in 2011 after Dr. Klein received an offer to become the chief of women's neurology at UPMC.

Pittsburgh police officials did not respond to requests for comment about their visit to Boston. Officials have said they are investigating Dr. Klein's death as either a homicide or a suicide.

Dr. Klein earned an M.D. and Ph.D. from the Boston University School of Medicine in 2001. That year, she and Mr. Ferrante were married at Christ Church in Boston, according to records.

She later served as chief resident in neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and had a faculty appointment at Harvard Medical School.

Mr. Ferrante, a leading researcher in ALS and Huntington's Disease, spent more than 20 years in Boston, working at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, according to his biography on the University of Pittsburgh website.

Officials at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham declined to comment on whether they have had contact with the Pittsburgh police in connection with the case.

Locally, detectives have obtained subpoenas and search warrants in their efforts to trace how the cyanide may have ended up in Dr. Klein's body. They requested documents from UPMC pertaining to both Dr. Klein's private practice and cyanide at Pitt's School of Medicine.

Homicide detectives, with help from the FBI, searched the family's Oakland home last week, removing a computer and vacuum cleaners and towing cars.

Mr. Ferrante has not responded to requests for comment and his attorney, Jerry Johnson, declined to comment Wednesday night.

A memorial service for Dr. Klein will be held Friday afternoon near Towson, Md., where she grew up.

nation - neigh_city

The Boston Globe contributed. Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.


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