HOBART | The FBI has become involved in the death investigation of a 59-year-old Hobart man whose body was found lying near a container marked as potassium cyanide, police Detective David Evans said.

"I'm working with them. They are following up on the case because of the cyanide," Evans said.

Evans said the investigation is a federal security issue because of the NATO summit later this month in Chicago.

"With NATO coming in, the FBI has to track the origin of the cyanide and how it got into his hands," Evans said.

FBI agents at the Merrillville office could not be reached for comment.

The Hobart man was identified as Steven Lewis Weinbrenner.

Evans said the FBI is assisting in testing the substance found in Weinbrenner's home.

Evans said he has not seen the substance because it was picked up for safety precautions by Lake County hazmat officials.

Keep reading for FREE!
Enjoy more articles by signing up or logging in. No credit card required.

"I'm not sure if it was a powder or liquid. The (hazmat) officials are getting it and it will be tested through the FBI," Evans said.

The cause of death still is being investigated. Toxicology results won't be received for another four to six weeks, Evans said.

"We're not ruling anything out as to the cause of death. We have a lot of unanswered questions," Evans said.

Police were called to Weinbrenner's home in the 300 block of Fox Trail Court shortly before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday after receiving a call from Weinbrenner's son.

Hobart Fire Department and Lake County hazmat personnel were called because of the potassium cyanide label, Evans said.

Weinbrenner, a chemist, most recently worked as a private contractor for the U.S. in Afghanistan, Evans said.

Evans said Weinbrenner had been home but was scheduled to go back to Afghanistan later this week.

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.