Poisoning: Fumes, not potion, killed KZN family

2009-03-15 00:00

TOXICOLOGY tests done on the bodies of 13 family members who were found dead in their home on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast in September last year found that the family died of carbon monoxide poisoning, and not from a potion given to them by a traditional healer as previously thought.

The bodies of the Paddock family were found in a hut after a ritual had been performed by a trainee herbalist.

SAPS spokeswoman Superintendent Zandra Wiid said blood samples and samples of other body fluids were sent to the SAPS forensic laboratory for analysis.

The victims were a two-week-old baby, four boys aged between two and seven, a 17-year-old boy, a 21-year-old man, four women in their 30s and two 55-year-olds — all from the same family.

It was initially believed that the 17-year-old was a trainee traditional healer and had administered a poisonous substance to the family that had killed them.

Only two members of the family survived as they were visiting friends.

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