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Hazmat crews called after suicide-by-ricin attempt

NORTH LOGAN, Utah (AP) – More than a dozen members of the Utah National Guard were called to help with decontamination in North Logan after authorities say a 37-year-old woman tried to commit suicide there with highly toxic ricin.

North Park Police Chief Kim Hawkes says authorities responded about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, after the woman’s out-of-state cousin reported receiving troubling texts and a call from her.

Police brought in a hazardous materials team that detected small amounts of ricin on a grinder, and they evacuated a family of four that was living upstairs from the woman’s basement apartment.

Ricin is derived from castor beans. Hawkes says the woman apparently ordered 60 castor beans online, ground them up and ate half of them.

She was taken to the hospital, where she was conscious and speaking to police a day later.

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