William Melchert-Dinkel arraigned today on suicide charges

Categories: Crime

Thumbnail image for Melchert-Dinkel.jpg
Cops say he hid his identity in suicide chat rooms
William Melchert-Dinkel, the former nurse from Faribault accused of hiding his identity while urging despondent denizens of the Internet to kill themselves so he could revel in the thrill, was arraigned today in Rice County, and ordered by the judge in the case to stay off the Internet and not leave the state while his case is pending.

Police say Melchert-Dinkel developed online relationships with Mark Drybrough, 32, of Great Britain, and Nadia Kajouji, 18, of Ottawa before they killed themselves. Drybrough hung himself in 2005. Kajouji's body was found in a river in 2008.

Police began investigating Melchert-Dinkel in 2008 after a tipster notified the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, based in St. Paul. He was using aliases such as "falcongirl" and "Cami" to communicate with people using suicide chat rooms, the tipster said.

"Mark had had a nervous breakdown and he was depressed and incredibly susceptible. This person was there whispering in his ear every time he logged on," Drybrough's mother told the U.K. Daily Mail. "In the last e-mail, this person claimed to be a nurse, saying he had medical training, and proposed a suicide pact."

Melchert-Dinkel's lawyer predicts his client will be acquitted:

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