A New York woman attempted to kill her estranged husband three times by spiking his drinks with antifreeze and sometimes asking their eight-year-old daughter for help, prosecutors said Thursday.
Renee Burke, 40, and her husband Matthew were going through a messy divorce, according to prosecutors. A judge gave Matthew custody of their children, while Renee's visitation rights were limited, according to the New York Daily News.
Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Santomartino claimed during a news conference that Renee allegedly broke into her estranged husband's home in Holbrook to poison his drinks in September, with her third attempt caught on camera.
On Sept. 6, Matthew poured himself a glass of wine and upon taking a sip of the beverage he spat it out. He thought the wine had gone bad, but his babysitter reportedly recalled their five-year-old son telling her, “Mommy came in and put something in Daddy’s drink.”
Two days later, Matthew again felt something was off about his bottle of Pepsi. Police said neighbors told officers a woman had entered the home with his child earlier that day, according to Newsday At this point, he asked his brother to set up cameras to catch the culprit.
Renee was then allegedly caught pouring a pink liquid into a bottle of wine and had her daughter help her remove the cork, Santomartino said.
“You see her in the video try to poison him. You see her wiping her fingerprints off the bottle, off the corkscrew, off the cabinets,” Matthew’s lawyer, Rick Stafford, told the New York Daily News.
Police executed a search warrant on Renee’s home and found a bottle of pink Prestone antifreeze in her kitchen, Sini said. There were also several bottles of wine discovered in Matthew’s home with trace amounts of ethylene glycol – an odorless, toxic chemical found in antifreeze.
Santomartino said Renee also searched on the internet: “What car liquids could kill humans?”
She was charged with attempted murder and was ordered to be held on $200,000 cash or $400,000 bond.