A main ingredient in rat poison is suspected in the death of a Pike County man.

A main ingredient in rat poison is suspected in the death of a Pike County man.

On May 27, Pike County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Pike County Hospital after a patient had died. The victim and a second person drove themselves to the hospital after taking methamphetamine, believing they may have overdosed.

Shortly after arriving, James P. Gregory, 37, died. His symptoms prior to death are consistent with strychnine poisoning, according to Pike County Sheriff Stephen Korte.

An autopsy is being performed to confirm cause of death.

Strychnine is a main ingredient in rat poison. People selling illegal drugs will sometimes add other substances such as fentanyl or strychnine to change the high.

Korte said due to the amount of forensics involved with this type of case, it will be a lengthy investigation.

The second person was treated and released.

Pike County investigators have experience with these types of cases.

On April 11, a Pike County Sheriff’s Deputy testified in front of the Federal Grand Jury for Eastern Missouri, which indicted James M. VonVain, Jr., 46, for intentionally distributing heroin to Del Shane McLaughlin, the use of such heroin caused the death of McLaughlin.