Source AP ©

Maine murderer loses 55 pounds

A cook, who was accused of fatally shooting four people staying at a Maine inn, has lost 55 pounds (25 kilograms) in jail, putting his health in danger and prompting the sheriff to seek a court order to force-feed him if necessary.

Christian Nielsen, who has been eating little and exercising obsessively, has dropped from 158 pounds (71.7 kilograms) to 103 pounds (46.7 kilograms) and is being monitored in the medical ward of the Cumberland County Jail, Sheriff Mark Dion said Thursday.

Nielsen was ordered committed Wednesday to the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta for assessment and treatment. But he remained at the jail on Thursday and it could be days or weeks before he is transferred, Dion said.

Dion said he was preparing paperwork in hopes of going before a judge Thursday to seek permission to force-feed him if necessary. The concern is that Nielsen, 32, has lost so much weight that his body could begin breaking down, he said.

Authorities say Nielsen confessed to the slayings, which took place while he was staying at the Black Bear Bed & Breakfast, a 130-year-old converted farmhouse near the Sunday River ski resort. He was working as a cook at another inn nearby.