Drug chemical found in tests of dead soldier, wife



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Thurston County coroner says toxicology tests on a Washington state man who shot and killed his wife and himself during a police chase in April show both had a chemical in their systems that’s associated with a potent designer drug.

Coroner Gary Warnock said Monday that both Army Sgt. David Stewart and Kristy Sampels had the chemical MDPV in their bodies when they died April 5. The chemical is associated with so-called “bath salts,” a product that the Washington Poison Center says has a chemical composition similar to methamphetamine. The Washington Board of Pharmacy issued an emergency 120-day ban on the substance shortly after the deaths.

Stewart was a combat medic who had twice deployed to Iraq.

The couple’s 5-year-old son, Jordan Stewart, was found asphyxiated with a plastic bag at their home in Spanaway, Wash. Investigators have said they believe one of the parents killed the boy but they aren’t certain which one.