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Beauty And Betrayal: California Dermatologist Accused Of Poisoning Husband's Tea With Drain Cleaner

california dermatologist poisoning husbands tea drain cleaner
Source: Irvine Police Department; Unsplash

Apr. 7 2023, Published 4:41 p.m. ET

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A California dermatologist accused of poisoning her husband’s tea with drain cleaner has been indicted, according to authorities.

In April 2022, Yue “Emily” Yu’s husband became suspicious after he noticed a “strange taste to the tea he drinks every day,” according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

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He continued to notice the strange taste, so he installed cameras throughout the kitchen to capture any possible evidence, officials said.

In July 2022, officials said the surveillance cameras allegedly caught Yu “pouring a substance out of a bottle of liquid drain cleaner into her husband’s tea.”

The husband brought some of that tea to the Irvine Police Department, and the substance was confirmed by the FBI to be consistent with liquid drain cleaner, officials said.

On Aug. 4, 2022, Yu was arrested and released the following day after she posted the $30,000 bond.

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Authorities said the victim suffered significant internal injuries because of the alleged poisoning.

On April 5, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced that a grand jury had indicted Yu on three felony counts of poisoning and one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury.

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If Yu is convicted on all charges, she could face a maximum prison sentence of eight years and eight months, according to authorities. She is set to be arraigned on April 18.

Officials said Yu is required to self-report to the Medical Board of California and the board will decide whether she can continue to practice medicine.

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District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement, "Our homes should be where we feel the safest, 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."

KTLA reported Yu’s attorneys claim the victim is exaggerating what happened ahead of divorce proceedings, asking, "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."

According to officials, Yu and her husband have two children together. Before the alleged poisoning, Yu had a domestic violence restraining order filed against her. Officials said both Yu and her mother had allegedly physically, verbally and emotionally abused the children.

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