Woman charged with murder after she poisoned and killed husband by spiking food with eye drops
Lana Clayton poisoned her husband's food between July 19 and July 21 and has now been charged with murder and malicious tampering of food.
A South Carolina woman has been charged with murder after she was suspected of killing her husband by poisoning his food via eye drops. 52-year-old Lana Clayton is well-connected and well-respected in her York County neighborhood and attended a regular Bible study, but has now been apprehended by the authorities in connection to the death of her spouse, 64-year-old Steven Clayton.
According to the Daily Mail, this development emerges after an autopsy of Steven's body found that he had a high amount of tetrahydrozoline in the body. The U.S National Library of Medicine states that the chemical is found in over-the-counter eye drops brands such as Visine and restricts blood vessels when they're poured into the eyes, thereby taking the redness away. However, if taken orally and ingested, it acts as a neurotoxin and attacks the body's nervous system.
An examination by the coroner revealed that the toxin had been in Steven's system for three days, and Lana, who is an employee of the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs in Charlotte, North Carolina, eventually confessed to poisoning her husband. She admitted to using the eye drops on his food between July 19 and July 21.
Steven was found dead at the couple's $822,000 home in Island Forks Road in Clover on July 21. His death appeared to have been a result of him falling down the stairs, and there was no initial suspicion that there was any foul play involved from Lana's side. Possibly to hide her guilt, she conducted his funeral in secret, well before detectives and investigators determined the cause of his passing. WSOCTV reports that the two had been married for eight years and that friends and neighbors were shocked at her arrest.
Deborah Pollard, a neighbor, said, "It just makes no sense. That's crazy. They're just finding all kinds of ways to do crazy things now a day aren't they." Another neighbor, Sean Magan, similarly added, "Somebody does something like that? That's crazy."
Ken Sanford, a Lake Wylie friend of the couple, said he was "in shock" over the news that Lana had killed Steve. "I'm just stunned," he said, adding that Lana 'seemed like a sweet lady. Sanford also said that "Steven was very proud of her accomplishments."
Lana has been booked into the York County Detention Center. Besides murder, she has also been charged with malicious tampering of food. Her motive behind committing the murder is currently unclear and she has no prior criminal record in either York County or anywhere else in South Carolina, reported Herald Online. While details of the case are being kept under wraps, she will not be eligible for a release through a bond because of the murder charge. According to Steven's obituary, he is survived by Lana, as well as two stepchildren, grandchildren, and other family members.