A South Carolina woman is behind bars after police say she poisoned her husband to death by putting eye drops in his drinking water for several days.
Police in York County said 52-year-old Lana Clayton confessed to poisoning the man after an autopsy uncovered the drug tetrahydrozoline in his system, ABC News reported. The husband, 64-year-old Stephen Clayton, had been found dead in the couple’s home on July 21.
Authorities did not discuss a potential motive for the killing or explain exactly how the husband fell ill.
This is not the first time someone has been accused of using eye drops to poison a lover. As UPI reported in 2012, a California man named Shayne Carpenter was arrested and accused of putting Visine in his girlfriend’s drink during a flight.
Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Tripp told ABC News that the woman found text messages in which the boyfriend appeared to admit putting the eye drops into her drink for the purpose of giving her diarrhea.
“He was making texts to his buddies that if ‘She’s going to be talking crap then she’s going to be crapping,'” Tripp told a local ABC affiliate.
Tripp said Carpenter later admitted to poisoning his girlfriend, who was treated at a hospital after falling ill and later released.
As Wired noted, there are a number of other cases of people using Visine to poison another, likely copying the 2005 movie Wedding Crashers in which Visine was used to induce diarrhea as a prank. The prank gained such notoriety that the rumor-busting site Snopes even delved into the issue, noting that eye drops actually contain a powerful poison that can be fatal.
“Yet if Visine doesn’t cause diarrhea, it has done things far more terrible,” the report noted. “Drinking it can (and has) caused severe depression of the central nervous system. In 1996, a two-year-old child who ingested at most 2 to 3 mL of Visine eye drops became dangerously lethargic and unresponsive to every stimulus except deep pain. Thanks to prompt medical attention the child recovered, but not before enduring intubation and two days’ worth of mechanically-assisted breathing.”
JUST IN: Lana Sue Clayton pictured below is facing charges for murder and malicious tampering with drug product or food. Arrest warrant shows toxic amounts of poison were found in her husband’s body. Warrant shows Clayton admitted to poisoning him between July 19-21st @wsoctv pic.twitter.com/anH79KhW2z
— Stephanie Tinoco (@STinocoWSOC9) August 31, 2018
In South Carolina, accused murderer Lana Clayton faces a charge of malicious tampering with a drug product or food. The report noted that it was unclear whether she had a lawyer or whether bail had been set. Police also did not yet say if she could face any further charges for the alleged killing.