South Carolina Woman Charged with Fatally Poisoning Husband Using Chemical Found in Eye Drops
A South Carolina woman has been arrested for allegedly fatally poisoning her husband over a period of three days in July
A South Carolina woman has been arrested for allegedly poisoning her husband over a period of three days in July.
On Friday, detectives in York County “arrested and charged Lana Sue Clayton with Murder and Unlawful Malicious Tampering of Food of her husband Stephen Delvalle Clayton between the dates of July 19 to 21, 2018,” according to a press release from the York County Sheriff’s Office.
In the press release, the sheriff’s office also shared that Stephen, 64, died on July 21 at their home, and that “the investigation autopsy toxicology tests discovered poisonous levels of Tetrahydrozoline in the body of the victim.” The chemical is frequently used in eye drops.
“Lana Clayton admitted to investigators she administered the substance to Stephen Clayton without his knowledge,” the sheriff’s office continued, adding that the case is still under investigation.
Stephen, who founded a nation-wide company called Physical Therapy Resource before retiring, was found in the foyer of the property after appearing to have fallen down the stairs, The Herald reported.
The York County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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Prior to her arrest — and before the results from the autopsy test were revealed — a funeral was held for Stephen on Aug. 4 in the backyard of the property where he died, neighbors of the couple told WSOC-TV.
An obituary published in The Herald also states that a funeral was held for Stephen on Aug. 4.
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Ken Sanford, who knew the couple, told The Herald that he was “in shock” about the news, adding that Lana “seemed like a sweet lady.”
A woman also told WSOC-TV that she attended a neighborhood Bible study class with Lana.
Police have yet to release a motive for the crime.
Lana, 52, is currently being held in the York County Detention Center, according to online records. It is unclear whether she has secured legal representation.
According to South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division records, she has an existing criminal record, reported The Herald.