A canister of sodium cyanide has been found in the car of an Arizona man who collapsed and died minutes after he was found guilty of setting fire to his Biltmore estate in 2009, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said.
In courtroom video, Michael Marin, 53, appeared to put something in his mouth and take a drink of water before he collapsed on June 28.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio told reporters Tuesday, "All indications point to suicide, but until the coroner's final report, this case still remains open."
Arpaio said on the eve of Marin's death on June 28, his son received a delayed email from his father that said, "If things don't go good in court, Marin's wills are in place and his car can be found parked at a Mesa location."
Detectives searched the vehicle and found the clearly labeled cyanide canister in the back cargo area. Arpaio said he handed it over to the coroner. He said his deputies never opened it.
Arpaio said Marin had contacted a California supplier in 2011 before his trial started. The sheriff said Marin bought "a small canister of the product using his personal credit card." It was shipped FedEx to Marin's home, Arpaio said.
"We assume Marin kept a capsule before coming to court," Arpaio said.
Marin was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"I don't know if he planned this for the whole world to see," Arpaio said. "I don't know what his motive was."
Investigators said Marin burned down his $3.5 million home because he couldn't sell it. He was seen escaping the fire by climbing down a rope ladder while wearing scuba gear.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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