A 56-year-old man caught on camera poisoning a colleague’s sandwich in May is under investigation by German police in the deaths of 21 other employees at the company who died at an alarming rate from heart attacks and cancer since 2000.
The suspect, who has only been identified as Klaus O, is seen in surveillance footage putting a suspicious powder on a co-worker’s sandwich, according to German newspaper Bild.
The employee noticed the powder on his lunch and told his supervisors, who called police. Tests indicate the substance was lead acetate, a toxic chemical that can cause severe organ damage if swallowed, investigators said.
A search of the suspect’s apartment uncovered mercury, lead and cadmium, according to Bild.
The suspect “has long tried to produce toxic substances, including heavy metal compounds,” investigators said, according to CNN.
The suspect was arrested and charged with attempted murder, according to Bild.
Officials broadened their investigation after they discovered two other employees had fallen ill in recent years. They are planning to review medical records, interview surviving relatives and exhume bodies of 21 other people if need be, according to Bild.
"There were a strikingly high number of heart attacks and cancers among the death cases in the company," police said in a statement, according to CNN.
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