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Investigators Mystified by Fayetteville Professor's Death

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FAYETTEVILLE — A police officer and a firefighter were overcome by potassium cyanide fumes while investigating the death of a Fayetteville State University professor.

Fayetteville police Officer Victor Starling and firefighter Dean Page were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center yesterday. They were investigating the death of Dr. Maya Ganguli. Page was admitted for overnight observation. Starling was released after emergency-room treatment. Three medics, whose names weren't released, received emergency medical assistance.

Police have not said if Ganguli's death might have been a homicide or suicide. Her husband, Gouranga Ganguli, called 9-1-1 yesterday morning and said his wife was lying on the patio.

Fire Battalion Commander Charles Williams said cyanide apparently had been put in a cup in the house. But Williams said little danger existed to other neighborhood residents.

FSU Provost Dr. Perry Massey says Ganguli was a popular chemistry professor.

A Sunday night autopsy was scheduled, but results have not been made available.

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