Woman suspected of poisoning husband with drain cleaner

IRVINE, Calif. (KTLA) – An Irvine dermatologist has been indicted after she allegedly poisoned her husband over several weeks with liquid drain cleaner last year, officials announced Wednesday.

Yue “Emily” Yu, 45, is accused of pouring the liquid into her husband’s tea, which caused him to have stomach ulcers, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Yu was arrested last summer after her husband of 10 years began noticing a strange taste in his tea. The taste continued and he decided to install cameras in the family’s kitchen to see if he could capture any evidence of why his tea tasted strange, officials said.

Video captured on multiple days in July 2022 appeared to show Yu pouring a liquid out of a bottle of drain cleaner and into her husband’s tea that was left on the counter.

The victim also collected samples of the tea and turned them over to the Irvine Police Department, officials said. The samples were eventually turned over to the FBI for testing, and the substance was confirmed to be consistent with drain cleaner.

Yu was arrested in August and released after posting a $30,000 bond.

A grand jury has now indicted her on three felony counts of poisoning and one count of domestic battery with corporal injury, officials said.

She is set to be arraigned on April 18 and faces more than eight years in prison.

Yu, who works in Mission Viejo, is required to self-report to the Medical Board of California, which will determine if she will be allowed to continue practicing medicine.

“Our homes should be where we feel the safest,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “Yet, a licensed medical professional capitalized on her husband’s daily rituals to torment her husband by systematically plying his tea with a Drano-like substance intending to cause him pain and suffering.”

An attorney for Dr. Yu, however, said there are innocent explanations for the moments caught on video that they will explain in court. In a statement, attorney Scott Simmons suggested his client’s husband misrepresented what happened to get a leg up in divorce proceedings.

The statement from Dr. Yu’s attorney read in part:

“If you thought you were being poisoned, would you go to a divorce attorney before going to the hospital or police? Drano is not a covert poisoning agent. It has a strong smell and taste and is highly caustic. Dr. Yu is looking forward to her day in court when the truth will finally come out.”


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