Widow Confesses That She Poisoned Her Husband With Eye Drops

A South Carolina woman is now facing murder charges after confessing to poisoning her husband. After a chemical commonly found in eyedrops was found in her husband's system during an autopsy, the woman admitted she had been putting the drops in his drinking water.

The family is horrified, and police are trying to figure out what the woman's motive was for poisoning her husband.

Stephen Clayton, a 64-year-old man from Clover, South Carolina, was found dead in his home on July 21. His death came as a shock to his family and initially the cause of death could not be determined, so an autopsy was ordered on the body.

While awaiting the results of the autopsy, Clayton's grieving widow, 52-year-old Lana, held a funeral for her husband in the backyard of their home. Neighbors and friends showed up to comfort Lana and pay their last respects.

A shock came later when it was discovered that Clayton's death was not accidental or natural. High doses of tetrahydrozoline were found in his system.

Tetrahydrozoline is a chemical found in over-the-counter eye drops and nasal sprays. It is a vasoconstrictor that narrows blood vessels to reduce swelling. If swallowed, however, it becomes a deadly neurotoxin that can lead to nausea, drowsiness, convulsions and death.

In the 2005 movie 'Wedding Crashers', a character drinks a beverage spiked with eye drops, and the result is a comic depiction of painful diarrhea. Sadly, because of this, people have tried to play the same 'prank' on others, only to have disastrous results.

When confronted with the results of the autopsy, Lana admitted to police that she had been putting eye drops into her husband's drinking water for the past several days.

“I believe she’s the one who called it in. She found him unresponsive in the house,” said Trent Faris, York County Sheriff's Office public informant officer. “We don’t have a clear cut reason why she committed the crime that she did, or what kind of motive she may have had. But we’re still kind of working on that.”

"The family is shocked and mortified at the cause of Steven’s death," read a statement from Clayton's relatives. "All of our family and friends know how much he loved his wife Lana and how devoted he was to her. We are all still trying to process this," the statement said.

There is a rumor that the motive was infidelity, but the family brushed this explanation aside in their statement. "... [A]ny references in media reports to a 2010 Facebook post by his wife having to do with an infidelity issue was centered around an ex-husband, not Steven who hadn’t even met her until 3 years after that particular Facebook post," it read.

"The family is respectful of the ensuing judicial process and does not want to make any statements that might jeopardize the due process of this case and those involved," the statement continued.

Poisoning by eye drops is surprisingly common. A man in Ohio put the drops into his father's beverage. A teen in Wyoming got angry at her mother and poisoned her with the drops.

One man in California was trying to get revenge on his girlfriend after a fight, thinking she would just suffer from an upset stomach, but he nearly killed her. A woman in Pennsylvania was caught putting the drops in her boyfriend's drinks in small doses for three years, and he was suffering from a number of mysterious health problems the whole time.

Source: Yahoo
Photos: York County Sheriff's Office, ABC News, ahirao/123RF Stock Photo

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