By Mondo Fernando, Staff Reporter
TORONTO — 34-year-old Tara Daoust was found dead on Wednesday in her east-end home from what appeared to be a Sudoku overdose.
Daoust was found slumped over her kitchen table, pencil in hand, surrounded by Sudoku puzzles she had cut out of newspapers. She was transported to St. Michael’s Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.
According to coroner reports, the woman was a pathological puzzle addict. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Edward Sinclair ruled the cause of death was brain explosion after an overstimulation of the central nervous system, owing to the excessive solving of Sudoku puzzles.
The logic-based number placement puzzles are well-known to be highly addictive and can quickly lead to tolerance and abuse. Sudoku puzzles can become life-consuming, and addicts in rehabilitation centres often suffer severe withdrawal symptoms owing to continual, sustained, and obsessive puzzle-solving.
A recent spate of puzzle-related deaths has led federal law-enforcement officials to step up efforts to crack down on the illegal cross-border smuggling of Sudokus. Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents say they uncovered 25,000 Sudoku puzzles at Newark Liberty International Airport, en route to Canada.
Lopez will be charged in U.S. District court in Newark next week.