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Teen pilot might have taken acne drug

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Wreckage from the Cessna 172 aircraft hangs from a skyscraper in Tampa.  


TAMPA, Florida (CNN) -- A prescription for a controversial acne drug that has been linked to suicidal tendencies was found in the home of the 15-year-old who piloted a small plane into a Tampa high-rise office building, authorities said Tuesday.

Sgt. Greg Tita with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department said the prescription for the drug Accutane was made to Charles Bishop, but it was unclear whether he had taken the medication. That will be one question authorities plan to ask the boy's family Wednesday, he said.

Accutane has come under scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration largely due to its links to birth defects.

The prescription can be given in only one-month intervals, and someone under 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign a consent form after reading lengthy explanations about potential side effects.

In addition to potential birth defects, the medication can lead to other complications, including metabolic, gastrointestinal, neurological and psychiatric problems.

In November, the FDA released a "revised Accutane label" that outlines potential problems associated with the medication.

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FDA warnings and facts on Accutane 
 

Under one heading labeled "mental problems and suicide," the document said some patients "while taking Accutane or soon after stopping Accutane have become depressed or developed other serious mental problems."

"Some patients taking Accutane have had thoughts about hurting themselves or putting an end to their own lives. Some people tried to end their own lives. And some people have ended their own lives," the document said.

"There were reports that some of these people did not appear depressed. No one knows if Accutane caused these behaviors or if they would have happened even if the person did not take Accutane."

'He was the light of my life'

Teachers, friends and family members of Bishop -- a freshman honor student at East Lake High School -- said the boy exhibited no suicidal tendencies in the weeks before he piloted the Cessna into the 42-story Bank of America building Saturday. No one else was injured.

The boy's mother, Julia Bishop, said she saw no signs that her son was troubled and is upset with reports that her son was a loner.

"He was a friendly, social boy," she said.

After the crash, police found a note in his pocket expressing support for Osama bin Laden and the September 11 attacks.

Bishop said she was stunned that her only child would kill himself, and shocked about the suicide note.

"My son wanted to join the Air Force. He loved his country," she said during a telephone interview Tuesday.

Bishop said she went to pick up her son at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, where he was taking flying lessons. When she got there, she said she was told of news reports about her son.

"I have not slept since Saturday, and I am still wearing the same clothes," she said.

"He was my shining star. He was the light of my life. There is nothing I would not do for that child. Everybody loved him."

That description contrasts starkly with the one given by authorities, who have said the high school freshman was a troubled teen-ager with few friends.

"He was very much a loner," said Tampa Police Chief Bennie Holder. "From his actions, we can assume he was a troubled young man."

Tampa Police spokeswoman Katie Hughes said Tuesday the FBI found "nothing of evidentiary value" on the hard drives of two computers taken from Charles Bishop's home.

The FBI said they have no evidence that Charles Bishop's actions were part of any larger terrorist plot.

"We have no reason to believe this was a terrorist act," said FBI spokeswoman Sara Oates. "There was no plot. We believe he was acting alone."

Authorities are looking into reports that Bishop claimed he was of Arab descent on his father's side as a possible explanation for his motives.



 
 
 
 



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