Criado health status sought

A subpoena from the Jackson County District Attorney's Office could compel Rogue Valley Medical Center to reveal a more complete picture of the condition of the 51-year-old father suspected of stabbing his wife and children, then setting their house on fire.

Jordan Criado, a registered sex offender, is in intensive care and has remained non-responsive since he was brought into the hospital July 18, the day of the slayings. Criado requires a mechanical ventilator to keep his lungs operating.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Heckert said her office initiated the subpoena before seeking an indictment from a grand jury.

She said her office is exploring the possibility of taking the case before the grand jury even if Criado doesn't revive, depending on what is discovered in medical reports obtained through the subpoena.

"Until we get some more updates on his medical condition, we don't intend to schedule this for grand jury," she said. "Ideally, he would be conscious when we take it to the grand jury."

Police suspect Criado of killing his 30-year-old wife, Tabasha Paige-Criado, and children Elijah, 7, Isaac, 6, Andrew, 5, and Aurora, 2.

Preliminary autopsy results showed Tabasha Paige-Criado died from multiple stab wounds to her neck and abdomen, while Isaac and Andrew died from stab wounds to the neck and probable carbon monoxide poisoning from the arson fire.

The autopsies also concluded Elijah and Aurora probably died from carbon monoxide poisoning, which will be determined through pending toxicology tests.

The D.A.'s office filed four search warrants as part of the investigation being conducted by Medford police, but the records remain sealed.

Heckert said her office, which has assigned two attorneys to the case, has had some discussions with hospital officials about Criado's medical status, but wouldn't elaborate on what they've learned.

Hospital officials have publicly disclosed only that Criado is in critical condition with carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning, both of which are found in victims of smoke inhalation. Criado also has a laceration on his left wrist.

According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to cerebral hypoxia. Symptoms include complete unawareness and unresponsiveness or coma, inability to breathe on one's own and no response of the pupils to light.

When asked whether Criado suffered from cerebral hypoxia, an RVMC spokesman said he couldn't disclose any further information about Criado's condition.

The longer a person is unconscious, the higher the risk for death or brain death and the lower the chances of recovery, the website explains.

Complications of cerebral hypoxia include a prolonged vegetative state. The website states that patients in a prolonged vegetative state usually die within a year, although some survive longer.

Firefighters pulled Criado out of the burning house along with his other family members.

Fire investigators have determined the origins of multiple fires set in the house, but won't disclose any details because they will be part of the case being built that could lead to an indictment.

Medford Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg said the exact time of the fire couldn't be determined with precision.

"We can approximate it, but we can't nail down a time," he said.

Kleinberg said investigators believe the fire was set sometime between 7:30 a.m., when police brought Paige-Criado home after her husband reported her missing, and 9:23 a.m., when a neighbor called 9-1-1 after seeing smoke coming from the eaves of the Criado home.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing a lot of smoke but no flames from inside the house when the initial call was made.

"Most likely it was deprived of oxygen," Kleinberg said. But there was still a lot of heat generated inside the house, he said.

Kleinberg said the investigation revealed that a "flashover fire" never developed inside the house. In a flashover fire, all the combustible surfaces in the room erupt into flames because of intense heat.

Levels of toxic smoke in the house appeared to be enough to kill someone, Kleinberg said.

The danger to human life from a fire and smoke depends on a number of factors. Victims lying on the floor are exposed to less smoke, but those standing up or who are near thick black smoke could die within a couple of breaths, Kleinberg said.

Kleinberg said carbon monoxide is usually the main culprit in death from smoke inhalation, but plastics, sofas and other substances in a house also emit cyanide and other toxins.

Investigators determined the fire was intentionally set. "There is no question," Kleinberg said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or e-mail dmann@mailtribune.com.


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