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UPMC Doctor Poisoned With Cyanide, FBI Helping With Investigation

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A renowned UPMC doctor was poisoned with cyanide, and now the FBI is helping in the investigation.

Pittsburgh homicide detectives, technicians from the police crime lab, and the FBI – armed with a search warrant - were in Oakland Friday night, searching the home shared by Dr. Autumn Klein, her husband, Dr. Robert Ferrante, and their 6-year old daughter.

Dr. Autumn Klein collapsed at her home in Oakland and at UPMC Presbyterian, her death was first reported as a possible heart attack.

Watch the latest on the investigation from KDKA Reporter, Ralph Iannotti

Police are looking at a number of possibilities: an accident, suicide, or homicide.

Friday night, police removed several bags of evidence from the Lytton Avenue home, and at least one plastic jug containing a dark liquid.

Police also took photographs inside the home, and scrutinized the outside as well. They towed away two vehicles that belonged to the couple.

Klein's mother said she is heartbroken, and that Klein's "6-year-old daughter, doesn't have a mother to raise her."

The medical examiner says the 41-year-old died of cyanide poisoning, but haven't determined her manner of death.

The medical examiner's office has issued subpoenas to the University of Pittsburgh to find out the movement of chemicals, in and out of the lab, including cyanide.

That's where Dr. Kleins husband, Dr. Robert Ferrante, works as a neurology professor.

Sources say Pittsburgh Police used search warrants and subpoenas to obtain cyanide from the lab where Dr. Ferrante works.

Kelly Kochomba with the FBI says, "our scientific resources will be used to help Pittsburgh Police with this very complex case involving cyanide."

KDKA Investigators have also learned that Dr. Ferrante has hired prominent attorney, and former U.S. Attorney General J. Alan Johnson.

Watch the latest on the investigation from KDKA Investigator, Marty Griffin

Sources say Dr. Klein was taking large amounts of the supplement creatine, in an effort to get pregnant.

Sources also tell KDKA's Marty Griffin that her husband has hired forensic pathologist Cyril H. Wecht, and that Wecht will try to determine if creatine can produce cyanide if taken in large amounts.

Dr. Ferrante called 911 and reported that his wife had a heart attack on April 20th.

Sources say "extremely high levels of cyanide" were found in Dr. Klein's blood. The type of levels that would have "knocked her to the floor" in 30 seconds sources say.

The FBI will take hair samples from two of Dr. Klein's hairbrushes in an attempt to determine where the cyanide came from.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala told KDKA that they are investigating her death as a possible homicide, or suicide.

Dr. Klein was chief of the division of women's neurology and assistant professor of neurology and obstetrics and gynecology at UPMC's Presbyterian and Magee-Womens hospitals.

Dr. Klein's mother says, "I don't know if I'm angry, I don't know who to be angry with."

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