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Others sought in alleged mass suicide pact

Officials hunt for at least 32 people after charging Oregon man


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Gerald Krien, 26, was arrested on charges of solicitation to commit murder and conspiracy to commit manslaughter.
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Man in custody on suspicion of trying to arrange mass suicide
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KLAMATH FALLS, Oregon (CNN) -- With the help of Internet providers, authorities are tracking down more than 30 people who allegedly planned to take part in a mass suicide on Valentine's Day.

Gerald Krien, 26, was charged Thursday with solicitation to commit murder and conspiracy to commit manslaughter, Klamath County Sheriff Timothy Evinger said.

Authorities allege Krien organized the effort via an Internet chat room. A mother with two small children was among those who allegedly agreed to take part in the pact, Evinger said. She also planned to kill her kids, he said.

Krien, who has not made a public statement, was offered a $100,000 bond, but authorities said they did not believe he would make the payment.

He has no previous criminal record.

A grand jury is expected to get the case Monday.

Evinger said a tipster from Canada -- believed to have been inside the group allegedly plotting the mass suicide -- contacted authorities.

Krien was arrested outside a hospital Wednesday after a cursory psychological evaluation, Evinger said. Details of the screening were not released.

Authorities searched Krien's house and seized his computer. They said his plan appears to have been to coordinate the suicides on Monday over the Internet, possibly through the use of Web cameras.

Police, FBI agents and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are working to track down at least 32 people who may be involved.

Evinger said Thursday that authorities needed to move quickly -- even if the episode turned out to be a hoax.

Investigators obtained subpoenas for information from several Internet service providers, and Evinger said information was beginning to trickle in Friday.

The alleged participants may have been from the United States, Canada or elsewhere, and numerous jurisdictions are likely to be involved.

Evinger declined to disclose how those who may be involved planned to carry out the pact. He said Thursday there did not appear to be any religious motivation, as cults have had in mass suicide pacts in the past.

Krien moved to southern Oregon a year ago to take care of his ailing father, the sheriff said. Klamath Falls is about 230 miles south of Portland.

CNN's Kimberly Osias contributed to this report.


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