Doctor who died of cyanide poisoning had no will

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A UPMC neurologist who died from cyanide poisoning did not leave a will.

According to a filing with the Allegheny County Register of Wills, Lois Klein on Tuesday was issued a grant of letters for her daughter, Autumn Klein, who died April 20.

The decree will allow Lois Klein to start the probate process for her daughter.

The chief of the women's division of neurology, Autumn Klein, 41, collapsed at her home on April 17 and died three days later at UPMC Presbyterian.

An investigation revealed that Robert Ferrante, a researcher for the University of Pittsburgh, had cyanide ordered for his lab two days before her collapse. He was arrested July 25 and faces one count of homicide and is being held in the Allegheny County Jail.

In her petition for a grant of letters, Lois Klein noted that her daughter left no will, that Mr Ferrante, 64, cannot serve to administer the estate and that he has been charged in her death.

He is not listed among the decedent's heirs, which include only Autumn Klein's parents and daughter.T

In a related matter, Lois Klein has also filed a claim seeking child support from Mr. Ferrante.

Mrs. Klein, who lives in Towson, Md., on July 30 filed a petition seeking child support for the couple's 6-year-old daughter.

It was signed Aug. 8 by Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kim Berkeley Clark of the Family Division and a hearing on the matter is scheduled for Sept. 18.

Last week, Judge David R. Cashman continued an order freezing Mr. Ferrante's assets -- which total more than $2 million, although he did leave an account with about $280,000 in it accessible for him to pay his legal fees.

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Paula Reed Ward: pward@p[ or 412-263-2620.


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