Young Boy's Poisoning Death Leads to Discovery of Grandma's Poisoning, Too

The deaths of Wilhelm Ducatl and Tofoon Man are now being investigated as homicides

Book describing the discovery of thallium and six specimens, 1861.
Science & Society Picture Library

Authorities have determined that a young New York City boy died last year of poisoning with a rare metal favored by murderers -- and the investigation into his death revealed that his late grandma died of it too.

The deaths of Wilhelm Ducatl, 4. and Tofoon Man, 63, are now considered homicides, the NYC medical examiner's office said Thursday.

On May 24, 2021, cops responded to a 911 call for a child in stomach pain at a 65th Street home in Brooklyn. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died two days later.

Authorities say their investigation led them to believe he may have been poisoned -- and to also have suspicions about the death of his grandmother, who passed three months previously after also having stomach pains at the same address.

Her body was exhumed, and an examination confirmed she'd been poisoned as well.

The medical examiner's office officially determined Wednesday that they'd both been killed by thallium poisoning, specifically. No arrests have been made.

A metal, thallium is not produced in the United States but is primarily imported for electronics manufacturing.

"Thallium is tasteless and odorless and has been used by murderers as a difficult to detect poison," the CDC says on a webpage devoted to treating exposure.

Copyright NBC New York
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