STILLWATER -- Autopsy results won't be available for two to three weeks in the ''suspicious'' death of a man who was married to convicted child killer Lois Jurgens.
Harold Jurgens died Thursday, a day after a caller told authorities he feared the man may have been poisoned by Mrs. Jurgens, who served years in prison for killing her son in 1965.
The death of Harold Jurgens is being investigated as suspicious in light of the tip, and because ''unusual'' chemicals were found in his blood, Washington County Sheriff Jim Frank said.
But at a news conference Friday, Frank emphasized that Mrs. Jurgens was not a suspect, nor was anyone else so early in the investigation. He also did not call Jurgens' death a poisoning and said he called the news conference because reporters were asking questions.
''We have no reason to focus in on her,'' Frank said. ''She has lost a husband and we want to respect that.''
Frank said Jurgens had been in failing health with heart trouble.
Paramedics were called to the Jurgens house on Jan. 11 when he had difficulty breathing, Frank said, citing records of dispatcher calls. He was taken to Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater. A Dec. 25 call was for a man in cardiac arrest and not breathing.
An investigator acting on the tip met with Jurgens, 78, of rural Stillwater at the hospital the day before he died. Medical records and interviews found evidence of unusual chemicals in Jurgens' blood, the sheriff's department said.
The investigator, Capt. Michael Johnson, said Jurgens was lucid and expressed no suspicion of his wife before he died.
The Ramsey County medical examiner's office was conducting the autopsy.
Mrs. Jurgens, 74, was cooperating with investigators, Johnson said. Authorities searched the Jurgens home and found pesticides and insecticides common to many homes, he said.
No one answered the door Friday afternoon at the Jurgens' house, an orange rambler in a wooded area about eight miles south of Stillwater, and their phone number is not published. Two neighbors said they did not see much of the couple.
''He'd aged a lot since the fall. He was frail and you could really see the difference,'' said one, a woman who would not give her name. She saw him a few times since last fall, walking to get his mail, she said.
Neighbor John Moris said the couple ''pretty much kept to themselves.''
In a case that became fodder for a book and a TV movie, Mrs. Jurgens was convicted of third-degree murder in the death of her 3-year-old adopted son, Dennis.
No one was charged in the boy's death for nearly two decades. The case was reopened after his birth mother began searching for him and became suspicious when she learned in 1983 that he was dead.
The birth mother, Jerry Sherwood, persuaded authorities to investigate. The boy had died of a bowel injury but his cause of death was classified as ''deferred'' until the county medical examiner ruled it a homicide in 1986.
Prosecutors contended Dennis died after numerous beatings and abuse, which included making the child eat food covered with horseradish and tying him spread-eagled in his crib.
Mrs. Jurgens was paroled in 1995 after serving eight years at the women's prison in Shakopee.
The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is helping to investigate Jurgens' death.
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