Hoffman had checked into the hotel about a week before Minnie's death, saying that his wife would be coming from the country to visit him. She arrived on January 18. She was reported to be sickly and stayed in her room, having her meals delivered to her there.
On January 23, Hoffman brought in Dr. Dietrich to treat Minnie for a fever. Dietrich prescribed an oral medication and an alcohol and carbolic acid solution to be externally applied. He returned the following day to find Minnie's condition improved. About an hour later, Hoffman summoned Dr. Detrich and reported that he'd mixed up the medications and given Minnie the carbolic acid orally by mistake.
|Dr. Lucy Hagenow|
"At the coroner's inquest it was shown that Miss Deering had visited Dr. Hagenow for relief from her woes, and that she was suffering from a criminal operation when the acid was administered."
The coroner's jury concluded that ultimately Minnie had died because of a criminal abortion since it had started the chain of events that led to Minnie's death. However, they did not conclusively determine that Hagenow herself had perpetrated it. They ordered her held to a grand jury pending further investigation.
Hagenow's attorney, John C. King, requested a writ to get Hagenow released. Judge Tuthill "readily granted it, saying that the verdict was an admission and an exhibition of ignorance, and that Mrs. Hagenow should not have spent an hour in jail.
Hoffman told the doctors that he and Minnie had secretly married and had secretly come to the city to procure the services of a "Mrs. Hageman," who evidently was Hagenow, since it was she who was arrested.
Hagenow, who had already been implicated of the abortion deaths of Louise Derchow, Sophia Kuhn, Emily Anderson, Hannah Carlson, Marie Hecht, May Putnam, Lola Madison, Annie Horvatich, Lottie Lowy, Nina H. Pierce, Jean Cohen, Bridget Masterson, Elizabeth Welter, and Mary Moorehead.