A Russian woman has been arrested in Brooklyn on charges of attempted murder, theft and assault after she tried to poison her friend and steal her identity. Viktoria Nasyrova allegedly added tranquillisers to a cheesecake which she gifted to the victim Olga Tsvyk, 35 before ransacking her Queens home.
The 42-year-old suspect was initially arrested in March 2017 for the 2016 crime and arraigned on 28 February. According to Fox News, Tsvyk shared similar physical traits to Nasyrova and could speak Russian, making her a choice target.
"This is a bizarre and twisted crime that could have resulted in the death of a Queens woman, whose only fault was that she shared similar features with the defendant," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said of the case.
According to the DA, Nasyrova, visited the victim's home in August 2016 with a cheesecake laced with phenazepam, a powerful Russian-made tranquilliser.
"The woman ate the cheesecake, fell ill and laid down," Brown said. "Before passing out, the woman's last memory is of seeing the defendant sitting beside her inside her home."
Tsvyk was discovered the next day by a friend who found her unconscious, lying in her bed, "dressed in lingerie with pills scattered around her body as if the woman had attempted to kill herself". Her passport, employment authorization card along with a gold ring and money had been stolen.
Nasyrova previously told CBS that she did not force the woman to eat the cheesecake. Her lawyer Barbara Byrne has refused to comment on the case.
"Luckily, the Queens woman survived the poisoning," Brown said. "The defendant has been apprehended and now faces a long term of incarceration." If convicted, the suspect could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. She is also facing murder charges in her native country where she is suspected of drugging and killing a woman in 2014.
The New York Daily reported that Nasyrova fled to New York after she was charged with the murder of Alla Aleksenko, 54, whose burnt body was found in a grave.