Sarah Scheffer, a high school teacher, is charged with attempted murder
Police claim Sarah Scheffer admitted to poisoning her husband using the root of a plant known as lily of the valley, which contains a compound that slows the heart
The alleged victim set up a hidden camera after feeling ill on eight different occasions
Scheffer is a teacher at a high school in Jefferson City, Mo.
A high school teacher in Missouri is charged with attempted murder, with authorities alleging she poisoned her husband.
Sarah Scheffer, 37, was allegedly caught putting a root of a plant known as lily of the valley into her husband’s smoothie after he set up a hidden camera in the kitchen, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Jefferson City Police Department.
The alleged victim became suspicious when he started experiencing “extreme fatigue, confusion, blurred vision, severe cotton mouth and nausea” after eating or drinking on eight different occasions, according to the probable cause statement.
On Jan. 1, police say Scheffer brought the alleged victim a drink, which had a bitter taste, and he confronted her about it. In response, she allegedly told the man she had urinated in the beverage, before saying she put an industrial strength adhesive into it, according to the statement. Scheffer later denied putting anything in the drink, police say.
After that incident, police say the alleged victim installed the surveillance camera in the kitchen.
On Tuesday morning, the alleged victim found a bowl containing a root from a bag labeled “lily of the field” on a table in Scheffer’s home work area, the statement says. That same morning, police allege that the camera captured Scheffer pouring the bowl’s contents into a blender, which the man says was a smoothie she prepared for him, according to the statement.
Police claim Scheffer admitted that she blended lily of the valley into her husband’s smoothie, despite knowing it could potentially kill him, allegedly saying she intended to harm him.
Lily of the valley contains cardiac glycosides, which slow the heart.
Scheffer is an art and design teacher at Calvary Lutheran High School in Jefferson City, according to the school’s website. She has been placed on leave, the school said in a reported statement.
"This afternoon, Calvary Lutheran High School was notified by JCPD of a criminal matter pertaining to an employee,” the school’s executive director said in a statement reported by KMIZ. “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 programs and we seek to respond in a caring and sensitive manner to everyone in our school community.”
Scheffer is charged with first-degree attempted murder and armed criminal action, court records indicate. No hearings have been scheduled as of Thursday, and records do not indicate if she has entered a plea or retained an attorney.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
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