A Missouri husband who suspected his wife of routinely poisoning him allegedly caught her in the act on surveillance footage, court documents show.
High school art teacher Sarah Scheffer, 37, was charged with first-degree attempted murder and armed criminal action on Wednesday, according to a felony complaint filed in Cole County Circuit Court and obtained by Fox News Digital.
On eight different occasions, Scheffer’s husband experienced “extreme fatigue, confusion, blurred vision, severe cotton mouth and nausea” after eating or drinking, according to a probable cause statement from the Jefferson City Police Department.
He confronted Scheffer on Jan. 1, after a drink she brought him had a “bitter taste,” the husband told police.
Scheffer allegedly told him she had urinated in the beverage, then claimed she spiked it with an industrial strength adhesive. Later, she denied altering the drink. After that incident, the husband allegedly installed a security camera in their kitchen.
On Tuesday morning, the husband said he found a bowl containing a root from a bag labeled “lily of the field” on Scheffer’s desk. On security footage later that day, police said, Scheffer could be seen adding the bowl’s contents to a blender as she prepared a smoothie.
After her husband presented the video to police, Scheffer allegedly confessed to putting lily of the valley – a poisonous flower that can dramatically slow the heart rate or alter heart rhythm with cardiac glycosides – into her husband’s beverage.
“[Scheffer] admitted to adding a root of the ‘lily of the valley’ into the blender while preparing a smoothie drink of the victim,” read the probable cause statement. “[Scheffer] admitted doing this with the intent to cause the victim harm… admitted to knowing that ingesting ‘lily of the valley’ could result in death… [and] admitted knowing the act was illegal.”
Officers with the Jefferson City Police Department reportedly sent the contents of the blender for testing.
Calvary Lutheran High School, where Scheffer works as an art and design teacher, wrote that the woman was placed on leave following her arrest.
“This afternoon, Calvary Lutheran High School was notified by JCPD of a criminal matter pertaining to an employee,” the school’s executive director told 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 was remanded to Cole County Jail without bond. Her court date has yet to be set by Cole County Circuit Court, and it is unclear whether she has retained an attorney.