Last of 15 survivors home from hospital

NEW SWEDEN (AP) – More than a month after 16 churchgoers were poisoned with arsenic, the last of the survivors was discharged Friday from the hospital.

Lester Beaupre was released from the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor on his 34th day of hospitalization.

He left without granting interviews, a hospital spokeswoman said.

He was one of 16 people who drank arsenic-tainted coffee on April 27 after the morning worship service at Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church.

One of them died. The others spent weeks recovering at the Eastern Maine Medical Center and Cary Medical Center in Caribou.

Carolyn Hildebrand, who attends Gustaf Adolph, said everyone is happy that Beaupre is back at home.

But she and others are still concerned about lingering complications faced by many of the victims.

“Everyone in town is just as happy as I am that he’s released from the hospital, but we’re still concerned about what they’re going to have to go through for the rest of their lives,” she said.

One of them was back in a hospital for tests on Friday. His family declined to talk to reporters.

State police say they continue to press forward with their investigation into the arsenic poisonings.

Daniel Bondeson, the only person to be linked by investigators to the poisonings, committed suicide five days after the incident.

However, investigators have said they don’t believe he acted alone.

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