Detective Sergeant Timothy Braun & Detective Daniel Baldwin
Somerset County (NJ) Prosecutor's Office
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of Detective Sergeant Timothy Braun and Detective Daniel Baldwin as the Officers of the Month for July 2004. Together they have more than 35 years of law enforcement service and sacrifice to the citizens of Somerset County, New Jersey.
Any case investigated by a Major Crimes unit has the potential of revealing man's true inhumanity to man. In October 2003 the Somerset Medical Center contacted the county prosecutor's office concerning several unexplained deaths. As the lead homicide detectives, Detective Sergeant Timothy Braun and Detective Daniel Baldwin learned that hospital administrators had long suspected that a staff member was responsible for the deaths as all the victims had been killed by lethal injection of prescription medications. Unfortunately, an internal hospital investigation failed to identify a suspect.
Two cases in particular caught the attention of the Sergeant Braun and Detective Baldwin. Jin Kyung Han, a 43 year-old cancer victim and Father Florian Gall, an elderly Roman Catholic priest, were both injected with a lethal dose of Digoxin, a medication used to decrease the heart rate. While Mrs. Han survived the attack, Father Gall died within hours of being injected.
Shortly after beginning their investigation, Sergeant Braun and Detective Baldwin began to suspect a 43 year-old registered nurse who had worked at nine different medical facilities throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, never at one for any significant length of time. The case against Charles Cullen grew as the detectives discovered that at each facility an inordinate number of unexplained deaths had been recorded. Furthermore, 67% of the deaths occurred in the Critical Care units during the midnight shift when Charles Cullen was on duty.
Sergeant Braun and Detective Baldwin learned that Cullen had skirted previous law enforcement investigations on at least three other occasions. Utilizing the automated medication system, they were able to confirm that he had been removing unauthorized medications at an alarming rate, one of which was Digoxin, the same drug which had killed Father Gall.
Based on the evidence these skilled investigators compiled, an arrest warrant was issued in early December 2003. Once Cullen was in custody, the detectives utilized innovative, unique and legally acceptable investigative techniques to gain his trust and respect. Eventually Cullen confessed to killing more than 40 patients, 15 at the Somerset Medical Center alone.
While several detectives worked in tandem on this case, it was Detective Sergeant Braun and Detective Baldwin who were able to penetrate the mind of one of America's most prolific serial killers. Commander of the Criminal Investigation Division, Captain Nicholas J. Magos stated, "These extraordinary investigators were resourceful, dedicated and untiring in their effort to rapidly bring to an end a killing spree that lasted 16 years, at nine medical facilities, that took the lives of more than 40 individuals."
Detective Sergeant Tim Braun, the son of a detective lieutenant, has been a law enforcement officer for 24 years. Over the course of his career, he has received more than 50 departmental awards, including the Medal of Valor and the Combat Cross from the Police Benevolent Association. He is a distinguished member of the New Jersey State PBA, the National Association of Police Organizations and the International Homicide Investigation Association. Detective Braun serves as the NJ Regional Coordinator for the law enforcement Critical Incident Stress Management Team and is a third degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
A law enforcement officer for 12 years, Detective Dan Baldwin has worked approximately 150 homicide cases, the majority of which were brought to a close. He is the recipient of many awards including the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Exceptional Duty Award and the National Presidential Award presented by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. Detective Baldwin is a member of the New Jersey States PBA, the National Association of Police Organizations and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.