PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - An unemployed Oregon man who police said used an Internet chat room to arrange a mass suicide pact with dozens of people on Valentine's Day was charged on Friday with trying to solicit aggravated murder.
Authorities seized the man's computer and are scouring it to identify and contact potential participants in the mass suicide to make sure they are safe, Klamath County Sheriff Capt. Chris Montenaro said.
"They are doing welfare checks on all of them," Montenaro said. "There is a very extensive investigation involving a lot of jurisdictions."
Gerald Krien, 26, was charged with solicitation to commit attempted aggravated murder. He could face 10 to 30 years in prison if convicted.
Participants in the planned group suicide appeared to be people "not happy with that date (Valentine's Day, Feb. 14) and not happy with their own personal lives," Montenaro said.
The police were tipped off by a Canadian woman who learned that one mother was allegedly planning to kill her two children and take her own life.
The chat room was designed for people interested in suicide, Montenaro said.
Krien lives with his parents in the southern Oregon town of Klamath Falls. He has had no prior contact with local law enforcement and is being held on $100,000 bail.
"There is no evidence of a religious or cult following with this group," Montenaro said. NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at
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