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Raid on home of woman selling suicide kits

May 28, 2011 12:11:17 AM PDT
FBI agents raided the home of a 91-year-old California woman who is being investigated for selling suicide kits over the Internet.

Sharlotte Hydorn of El Cajon doesn't look like the kind of person who would spark a federal raid, but she made national headlines recently after a man in Oregon committed suicide using a special kit she sells online.

According to Hydom, investigators spent 10 hours on Wednesday sifting through her home. They reportedly confiscated her computer and other items.

"They took copies of letters that friends had given me, you just can't imagine, just everything," she said.

Hydorn said she's been making, selling and shipping suicide kits for the past several years for $60 apiece. The kits include a plastic hood with an elastic band and a slot for a tube to attach to a helium tank.

Hydorn says the federal search warrants were related to mail fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion and the sale of adulterated and misbranded medical devices.

"They were here from like early morning until like 5:30 at night, and I was just cross-eyed exhausted by that time," she said.

Officials took about 20 suicide kits ready to be mailed out, Hydom said, and several more she already mailed were intercepted at the post office.

She believes selling her so-called "exit kits" is not illegal.

"If I did, I would have gone to South America or something," she said. "I think if people don't agree with me, then good, let them go live in their own way."

An FBI spokesman wouldn't comment on what agents were looking for, but did confirm they are investigating Hydorn.

Hydorn believes her kits provide a compassionate way for people to end their lives. She says she started selling the kits after watching her husband suffer a slow and painful death from colon cancer.

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