Cyanide confirmed cause of Scotsman Hotel deaths

THE Russian couple found dead at The Scotsman Hotel in a suicide pact died from exposure to cyanide and laughing gas, their death certificates confirmed today.
Cyanide poinsoning has been confirmed as the cause of death. Picture: Ian RutherfordCyanide poinsoning has been confirmed as the cause of death. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Cyanide poinsoning has been confirmed as the cause of death. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The certificates showed that Daria Kuchuk, 35, and Igor Pavlov, 27, suffered “toxicity” to cyanide and nitrous oxide.

The documents confirmed that they were a married couple, and that both were pronounced dead at the five-star hotel on North Bridge at 1.50pm last Thursday.

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Police chiefs today said that their deaths were “non- suspicious” and the inquiry was “complete”.

The couple were living together in a second-floor flat in World’s End Close, off the Royal Mile, which police began searching around an hour after the bodies were found by a maid.

But mystery still surrounds much of their lives, with no occupations given for either on the certificates. The cause of death was “presumed cyanide and nitrous oxide toxicity”.

Nitrous oxide – known commonly as laughing gas – carries an asphyxiation risk and is a dissociative anaesthetic.

It is known as laughing gas due to the euphoric effects of inhaling it, a property that has led to its recreational use, while it is utilised in surgery and dentistry as an anaesthetic.

Two suicide notes reportedly identified “family problems” as the reason for the pact.

Daria Sergeyevna Kuchuk was born on February 18, 1978 while her husband, Igor Pavlov, was born on March 10, 1986.

Police named the couple on Monday after detectives needed a number of days to trace and inform next of kin.

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Mrs Kuchuk, who kept her maiden name after marriage, was the daughter of Duncan and Nadya McLane-Campbell. Her husband’s parents are Alexander and Tatanya Pavlov.

Their bodies were discovered at around 12.15pm on August 1, but they were officially pronounced dead 95 minutes later. The death certificates said they were “found dead”.

The discovery sparked a full-scale chemical alert that brought North Bridge to a standstill.

A police spokeswoman said: “Police Scotland Edinburgh Division can confirm the deaths of a couple within the Scotsman Hotel on Thursday, August 1 are being treated as non-suspicious. Police inquiries into the deaths are now complete.”