'Bath salts' detected in murder-suicide

OLYMPIA, Wash., June 14 (UPI) -- A powerful synthetic drug called bath salts were found in the bodies of a Washington state soldier who killed his wife and himself, officials say.

The Thurston County Coroner's Office said Monday toxicology tests revealed the presence of methylenedioxypyrovalerone or MDPV in the bodies of Fort Lewis Army medic David Stewart, 38, and Kristy Sampels, 38, The Seattle Times reported.


Stewart shot his wife and then himself after being pulled over for speeding by a state trooper near Tumwater April 5. Their 5-year-old son was found suffocated at their Spanaway home.

County Coroner Gary Warnock said investigators found a small jar of "Lady Bubbles" brand bath salts in Stewart's pocket and granules of the drug in his car.

Bath salts, which were legal at the time but are now banned in the state, are similar in chemical makeup to methamphetamine, the Washington Poison Center says.

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