Man in Ricin Case Wakes Up

FBI questioning 57-year-old about toxin found in Las Vegas hotel room
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2008 5:45 PM CDT
A camper belonging to John Walster, March 4, 2008, in Riverton, Utah. The camper was used in 2006 as temporary quarters by Roger Bergendorff, the man at the center of a ricin investigation.   (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
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(Newser) – The man at the center of the Las Vegas ricin investigation regained consciousness today, although he remains hospitalized in critical condition, the Associated Press reports. Roger Bergendorff, 57, had been in a coma since Feb. 14; he has already been questioned by FBI agents about the toxin—considered a "biological weapon"—found in his hotel room.

"It is our understanding that there is no established link to any terrorist organization or terrorism at this time," Nevada's homeland-security chief said today. Officials suspect Bergendorff’s coma was the result of ricin exposure, although tests to determine this have proved inconclusive because the drug breaks down in the body within days.