Dateline   |  September 27, 2013

Toxic, Part 2

Matthew Podolak’s death sends shockwaves through his family, and devastates his fiance holly.  Mark Podolak is resolved to find out what killed his little brother.  Could it have been an accident, or suicide, or… murder?

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the end came on monday morning, je july 13, 2006 .

>> i got a call that said you better get here because he's gone into full arrest and we have revived him already once. so when i got there, it was just downhill.

>> narrator: pat's fiance, holly mc feature begged the doctors, keep trying.

>> i kept saying, don't stop, don't stop. matt don't ollie leave me.

>> narrator: and it was no use.

>> after the doctor or nurse stepped away, holly just lunged on matt and wouldn't let go. they actually had to pull her off of his body.

>> narrator: he was just 31 years old a and now his children were fatherless. and now holly was at a funeral and she did not take it well.

>> holly was outside in the car bawling her eyes out before she went in. i don't know i would have been a able to do that myself, going in there and seeing him in the casket.

>> narrator: matt and holly 's son cried a lot. so holly repeatedly had to leave the reception line to care for her colicky baby.

>> she had to take care of her kids and show that she could be strong.

>> this poor baby , he would have never have known his father. how could this happen? all of a sudden a very health yy 31-year-old young man just winds up dead? kind of strange.

>> narrator: kind of strange? it certainly was. matt's brother mark couldn't stop thinking about how strange it was.

>> how can you go in the hospital for kidney stones and die 12 hours later.

>> narrator: it's as if he had been exposed to some toxic chemicals in his environment. he had worked for four years at his uncle's phoenix industrial, having worked in an assembly line involved in painting. any toxic chemicals there?

>> the coroner told her a lot of the chemical compounds were similar to what the chemical compound was that they found in him.

>> narrator: right after that, holly called matt's uncle, the owner of the company.

>> holly said that he needed to call the coroner so he could explain what matthew was exposed to.

>> narrator: after the coroner got a proper list of the chemicals they used, he pretty much ruled out any industrial cause.

>> all those chemicals were safe to work with, they were osha approved and they had masks to wear.

>> narrator: so if not that, what? perhaps it was unhappily all too common, when death occurs in someone too young. that a young man with the pain of his kidney stones , decided to end it all. it was the coroner's investigator that brought it up with matt's mother.

>> he questioned me, would matt have committed suicide?

>> narrator: no, never, said he mother. but it would not have been an unreasonable question, given his depression and all. but mark believed he had that under control.

>> he went to the doctor to get some help with that. and the doctor gave him some antidepressants.

>> did it help?

>> i aassumed it was.

>> narrator: matt was spending time with holly and the kids a and her parents. so maybe mark didn't know.

>> did he go to his own parents' house very often?

>> i don't recall him talking about it that much.

>> his connection didn't seem to be that close, then?

>> it didn't seem to be.

>> narrator: and mark didn't know, not then anyway, that matt actually asked to have the hunting guns removed from his house?

>> was he really thinking about killing himself?

>> from what i heart, yes, that he was having thoughts. he told holly , i think he actually told my dad.

>> narrator: just as he insisted he go to the doctor for his kidney stones , it was holly that sent him to the doctor for his depression.

>> she sent him to the doctor and got him on medication for that as well.

>> narrator: what happened to matt podalak. then finally three months after matt's death, mark got a call from his mother. come to a family meeting, she told him. she refused to tell him what would be said there.

>> because i knew he would be very, very upset.

>> narrator: the news was too bizarre, too shocking to share over