Teacher accused of poisoning husband’s smoothie with toxic plant

US

A teacher in the US has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly being caught on hidden camera poisoning her husband’s smoothie.

Sarah Scheffer’s husband installed the surveillance equipment after suspecting his wife had been contaminating his food and drink over a number of weeks, causing him to feel unwell.

When questioned by police in Missouri, the 37-year-old is said to have admitted adding the root of the lily of the valley to a blender “with the intent to cause the victim harm”, according to a probable cause statement.

It also said: “The defendant admitted to knowing that ingesting ‘lily of the valley’ could result in death.”

Despite its delicate appearance and scent, the plant is highly toxic.

The statement said: “The victim described eight occurrences in which the defendant provided a beverage or food that had an odd taste and shortly after ingesting he experienced extreme fatigue, confusion, blurred vision, severe cotton mouth, and nausea.”

Scheffer was confronted by her husband on New Year’s Day, after she brought him a beverage with a “bitter taste,” it was claimed.

The suspect allegedly said she urinated in the drink, then “admitted to putting an industrial strength adhesive in it,” only to then deny putting anything in the beverage.

Her husband subsequently put in a camera which captured Scheffer making a smoothie for him.

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She allegedly added a root from a bag labelled “lily of the valley” that her husband had previously seen on a table at their home.

The smoothie, which had been placed in the fridge, was seized by police to be submitted to a state laboratory for testing.

Scheffer is currently being held at the Cole County Jail, because police believe she would be at risk of failing to appear in court in response to a criminal summons.

She allegedly said she was in a relationship with someone in Pakistan and “has conducted Google searches for flights” to the country.

Scheffer is reportedly a design and art teacher at Calvary Lutheran High School in Jefferson City.

Her name and photo appear to have been removed from the school’s online page following her arrest.

Calvary Lutheran High School said in a statement to ABC News that it had been notified by police of a “criminal matter pertaining to an employee” who has since been placed on leave.

Calvary Lutheran executive director John Christman said in the statement: “The alleged conduct was outside of the employee’s association with the school and did not involve a student or any other school personnel.

“As a Christian community, Calvary Lutheran High School believes in protecting the well-being of all individuals who are part of our programmes and we seek to respond in a caring and sensitive manner to everyone in our school community. With this in mind, consistent action has been taken in response to the notification.”

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