Feds Raid Suicide Kit Company - NBC 7 San Diego

Feds Raid Suicide Kit Company



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    The sign outside Hydorn's home welcomes visitors.

    Mail-order suicide kits, sold by a 91-year-old East County woman, recently sparked nationwide curiosity and outrage. The kits already have prompted legislation in Oregon to outlaw them.

    On Thursday, Sharlotte Hydorn said her home has been raided by federal agents.

    Hydorn says about a dozen federal agents were at her El Cajon home all day Wednesday and seized her computers, sewing machine and boxes of ready-made kits.

    FBI Agent Darrell Foxworth confirms authorities were at the woman's address but wouldn't comment on the contents of the warrant.

    East County Woman Dispenses Suicide Kits

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    Sharlotte Hydorn, 91, says she wants people to die in peace alongside their loved ones.
    (Published Friday, April 29, 2011)

    Hydorn's life has gotten hectic since 29-year-old Nick Klonoski, used one of the kits she and her son Raja sell by mail order to commit suicide in Eugene, Oregon last December.

    "I don't assume any responsibility for his death,"Hydorn told NBCSanDiego on Thursday.

    The kits feature a plastic hood fitted by elastic over the head, with tubing that connects to a helium tank, which can be rented commercially.

    "It's not painful and they're not suffocating,"Hydorn said.

    Hydorn has made no apologies and is beyond debating ethical issues over her product that's aimed at desperate-to-die people.

    "Well, I've thought about that poor mother (U.S. Dist. Judge Ann Aiken) in Oregon," Hydorn said last month.

    "She should be glad that young man -- if he was determined to die -- that he didn't jump out of a building, so he was a mess of guts and blood and bones on the street. That he didn't hang himself in the closet."

    Hydorn does business, at $60 per kit, through a UPS mail drop in unincorporated La Mesa.

    Oregon lawmakers are working on legislation to outlaw this sort of business.

    Legally speaking, prosecuting Hydorn over her kits may prove a challenge.

    "Obviously it's repugnant; we don't wish for people to kill themselves," said Gretchen von Helms, a criminal defense attorney in San Diego.

    "But if someone sold a butcher knife, for example, you can't prosecute the maker of the butcher knife for someone killing themselves for it."

    Hydorn is waiting to see what happens with the Federal investigation before she makes any more kits.

    She believes she has not done anything wrong.  "You can embarrass me and say that I'm murderous, I'm making suicide kits, I'm killing people, OK,"Hydorn said.  "Good luck to you on your last days."