Fri, Mar 02, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Woman uses cheesecake to poison look-alike: officials

AP, NEW YORK

A Russian native was charged with poisoning a look-alike with a tranquilizer-laced cheesecake and then stealing her passport, cash and other property after trying to make it look like a suicide attempt, authorities said on Wednesday.

“This is a bizarre and twisted crime that could have resulted in the death of a Queens woman, whose only fault was that she shared similar features with the defendant,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

The suspect — Viktoria Nasyrova, 42, of Brooklyn — was on Tuesday arraigned on attempted murder, burglary, assault and other charges after being arrested in March last year.

Her lawyer, Barbara Byrne, declined to comment.

In an earlier interview with US broadcaster CBS, Nasyrova denied forcing the woman to eat the cheesecake.

In August 2016, Nasyrova, visited the Forest Hills home of the 35-year-old victim bearing a gift of a cheesecake, said Brown, adding that both women have dark hair, the same skin complexion and speak Russian.

“The woman ate the cheesecake, fell ill and laid down,” Brown said. “Before passing out, the woman’s last memory is of seeing the defendant sitting beside her inside her home.”

The following day, a friend found the victim unconscious in her bed, “dressed in lingerie with pills scattered around her body as if the woman had attempted to kill herself,” Brown said.

The woman was treated at a hospital and when she returned home, she realized that her passport and employment authorization card were missing, along with a gold ring and cash.

Law enforcement agents with the US Department of Homeland Security tested the cheesecake and confirmed that it was laced with the Russian tranquilizer phenazepan.

The pills also contained the same drug, Brown said.

Nasyrova is also accused of drugging and killing a woman in her native country before fleeing to New York.

She denied those charges in the CBS interview.

Nasyrova faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. She is next due in court on May 25.

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