Abstract: A 52-year-old woman was found dead on the floor of the living room on the first floor of a house, which belonged to the man with whom she shared the house. On visiting the site, her clothes were found to be undisturbed. Packages of flunitrazepam (Silece, 2 mg/tablet) and triazolam (Halcion, 0.25 mg/tablet) were found strewn around the victim. Toxicological analysis was performed, and the concentrations of flunitrazepam, triazolam, and their metabolites in the victim’s blood and urine were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with photodiode array and mass spectrometry. A high blood concentration of 7-aminoflunitrazepam was detected (1,270 ng/g), and further metabolites such as 7-acetamidoflunitrazepam, 7-acetamidodesmethylflunitrazepam, and 7-aminodesmethylflunitrazepam were detected in the blood and urine samples. In addition, 4-hydroxytriazolam and α-hydroxytriazolam were detected in her urine at a concentration of 950 and 12,100 ng/mL, respectively.
On the basis of the autopsy findings and toxicology results of high concentrations of both flunitrazepam and triazolam derivatives, the cause of death was determined to be acute intoxication from flunitrazepam and triazolam.