Several police forces review deaths for links to man charged in lethal product sale
May 10, 2023 By The Canadian Press
May 10, 2023, Ontario – Several police forces say they are reviewing sudden deaths in their regions that could be linked to an Ontario man accused of selling a lethal substance to people at risk of self-harm.
Peel Regional Police arrested Kenneth Law last week and charged the 57-year-old with two counts of counselling or aiding suicide after investigating two recent deaths in the area.
Law, who is in custody awaiting a bail hearing, appeared briefly at a Brampton, Ont., courthouse by video link on Wednesday before his case was put over until Monday.
Peel Region police allege the Mississauga, Ont., man used a series of websites to market and sell sodium nitrite, a substance that is commonly used to cure meats but can be deadly.
The force has said one person died in Peel Region at the end of March after consuming sodium nitrate allegedly bought from an online company owned by Law. Investigators said they later learned of a second death.
Three other police forces said that they were reviewing past deaths in light of the allegations against Law.
Toronto police said their review is part of the ongoing investigation by Peel Region police.
“(Toronto Police Service) is conducting a review of sudden death occurrences that could be linked to this matter,” the force wrote in statement.
In Durham Region, east of Toronto, police said they were working with the coroner’s office to review sudden death investigations where sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite were deemed to be the cause of death or a contributing factor.
“(Durham Regional Police Service) can confirm one case has been identified from 2022,” the force wrote in a statement. “We will be collaborating with Peel Regional Police to determine if it is linked to the Kenneth Law investigation.”
Meanwhile, police in Regina said they have reopened one death investigation.
“Through investigation done by Peel Regional Police, one potential victim was identified in Regina,” the force wrote in a statement. “At this time, work to determine the circumstances of this case is ongoing.”
Peel Region police have said that their investigation into Law found that at least 1,200 packages – they have not detailed what was in them – were allegedly sent to 40 countries. They said investigators have been reaching out to police in those countries and officers have been conducting well-being checks on people who received a package.
A coroner’s report from the United Kingdom appears to point to at least one death by suicide in the U.K. that’s linked to a postal box in Mississauga and a company name police have linked to Law.
Ontario Provincial Police alerted the public last week to report any packages received from five companies they allege are connected to Law: Academic, AmbuCA, ICemac, Escape Mode, and Imtime Cuisine.
Health Canada has said it “has been made aware of reports of people intentionally ingesting sodium nitrate or nitrite with the intent of self-harm and is taking action to address this concerning trend.”
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