Las Piñas, Philippines: Tuesday, the couple committed suicide inside their vehicle at a mall parking lot in July has oxalic acid found in the body, police said.
- Oxalic acid found in the body of the couple commit suicide,Jose Maria Escano and his wife, Juliet.
- The Las Piñas police came to this conclusion after the findings of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory.
Police Senior Superintendent Elmer Catabay, public information officer of the PNP Crime Laboratory said, the results of the toxicology examination conducted by the PNP Crime Lab on the stomach contents of Jose Maria Escano and Juliet Escano and the items collected inside their vehicle, the victims were found positive for the presence of oxalic acid.
Oxalic acid was also found in items recovered from the scene of the crime. The autopsy report showed that the cause of death of the couple was the oxalic acid found in the body.
According to the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) from the Southern Police District Crime Laboratory Office, the following were found at the scene: a plastic bottle of an orange juice drink, two paper cups from a convenient store, a small transparent plastic cup, two plastic green straws, one black plastic trash bin, and 35 pieces of assorted receipts.
“They committed suicide,” Insp. Eleazar Camiling, Las Piñas police investigation chief said, he said that based on their investigation and the footage taken by a closed circuit television camera, there was no indication that someone had forced the couple to drink the toxic chemical. “No one approached their vehicle. There were no signs of struggle in the vehicle,” Camiling added.
Oxalic acid is an organic compound with the formula H2C2O4 (also written as HOOCCOOH). It is a colorless crystalline solid that forms a colorless solution in water. It is classified as a dicarboxylic acid. In terms of acid strength, it is much stronger than acetic acid. Oxalic acid is a reducing agent and its conjugate base, known as oxalate (C2O42−), is a chelating agent for metal cations. Typically, oxalic acid occurs as the dehydrate with the formula H2C2O4·2H2O. Excessive ingestion of oxalic acid or prolonged skin contact can be dangerous.
Oxalic acid in concentrated form can have harmful effects through contact and if ingested; manufacturers provide details in Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). It is not identified as mutagenic or carcinogenic; there is a possible risk of congenital malformation in the fetus; may be harmful if inhaled, and is extremely destructive to tissue of mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract; harmful if swallowed; harmful to and destructive of tissue and causes burns if absorbed through the skin or is in contact with the eyes. Symptoms and effects include a burning sensation, cough, wheezing, laryngitis, shortness of breath, spasm, inflammation and edema of the larynx, inflammation and edema of the bronchi, pneumonitis, pulmonary edema. In humans, ingested oxalic acid has an oral LDLo (lowest published lethal dose) of 600mg/kg. It has been reported that the lethal oral dose is 15 to 30 grams.
The toxicity of oxalic acid is due to kidney failure caused by precipitation of solid calcium oxalate, the main component of kidney stones. Oxalic acid can also cause joint paindue to the formation of similar precipitates in the joints. Ingestion of ethylene glycol results in oxalic acid as a metabolite which can also cause acute kidney failure.IMAGE/YouTube screenshot