PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There are new details in the cyanide poisoning death of a specialist at UPMC.

Sources confirm that her husband, who is also a medical expert at Pitt, bought cyanide two days before she died.

Sources confirm Dr. Robert Ferrante purchased cyanide with a University of Pittsburgh credit card a few days before his wife, Dr. Autumn Marie Klein, died from a lethal dose of cyanide.

Attorney Bill Difenderfer says his client, who is a Pitt professor, used cyanide as part of his teaching.

Police say the purchase of the poison so close to her death is part of their investigation.

Dr. Klein collapsed on the floor of her Schenley Farms home and was rushed to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital where she died a few days later.

Her organs were harvested for donation after her death.

Sources say Dr. Klein had more than 30 times the lethal level of cyanide in her system.

Police are now preparing to execute several more warrants in the case, looking for further evidence.

Criminal defense attorney Bill Difenderfer, who describes his client as a suspect in the murder of Klein, says he is preparing for a possible case.

“In terms of the high profile nature of the case, I don’t think that really makes a difference. In terms of dealing with the motions, dealing with whatever these allegations are going to be, preparations, getting the right people on board, the right experts – you would do all the same no matter what,” said Difenderfer.

KDKA’s Marty Griffin tried to talk with Dr. Ferrante about his wife’s death two weeks ago. He had nothing to say.

Sources close to the investigation say he appears devastated by the loss and maintains his innocence.

“What’s nice about some cases is some clients, as you know, have the wherewithal to defend it financially, and some don’t,” adds Difenderfer.

Police detectives traveled to Boston and Baltimore in the last week or so probing deep into the background of Dr. Ferrante along with his wife, Dr. Klein.


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Homicide Detectives Investigating UPMC Doctor’s Death From Cyanide Poisoning (5/1/13)
UPMC Doctor Poisoned With Cyanide, FBI Helping With Investigation (5/3/13)
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