Woman Admits Killing Her Husband With Surprising Weapon: Common Eye Drops

September 05, 2018
By: Christine Colby

CLOVER, SC — A South Carolina woman stands accused of murdering her husband with a weapon so mundane that we probably all have some in our medicine cabinet: eye drops.

Lana Clayton, 52, has admitted to slowly poisoning her husband, Stephen Clayton, over a period of days by adding the eye drop fluid to his drinking water.

The 64-year-old was found dead on July 21 at the couple's home, which was modeled on George Washington's Mount Vernon estate and valued at more than $800,000.

York County police said that she confessed after an autopsy uncovered a high amount of tetrahydrozoline in her husband's body. The chemical is found in over-the-counter eye drops such as Visine.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, swallowing this substance can result in lowering body temperature to dangerous levels, halting breathing, blurring vision, nausea and vomiting, elevating and dropping blood pressure, and causing seizures or tremors. Ingesting too much tetrahydrozoline can send a person into a coma, or cause death.

Pfizer cautions Visine users: “If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away" — and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning for parents to make sure that they do not leave bottles where children can access them.

According to WSOC-TV, Stephen Clayton's funeral was held in the home's back yard before the autopsy results were revealed.

Friends and family are reportedly now shocked that Lana would harm her husband, and have stated that Stephen appeared to be devoted to his wife. Police have not yet revealed a motive for the murder.

Lana Clayton has also been charged with malicious tampering with a drug product or food.

The investigation continues.

Recommended For You:

Read more: CBS News

Main photo: Lana Clayton [York County Sheriff's Office]

Next Up

Prolific Serial Killer Nurse Charles Cullen May Have Killed As Many As 400 Patients

The murderer’s 16-year medical career in New Jersey and Pennsylvania ended after he was arrested in 2003.

UPDATE: Fugitive Leticia Smith from ‘In Pursuit With John Walsh’ Captured In Mexico

Authorities confirm former fugitive, Leticia Smith was extradited from Mexico to California. Smith will face charges for allegedly killing her husband, Antione Smith.

Drug Addiction, ‘Fishy’ Behavior & Surprise Snapchat Video: 5 Key Murdaugh Murder Trial Revelations

The disgraced South Carolina attorney’s six-week jury trial ended with a guilty verdict and life sentence.

Secret Affair Led To Brutal Murder Of Delaware Woman Found With Neck Cut

The death of churchgoing grandmother Mary Anderson shocked her local community.

UPDATE: ‘In Pursuit with John Walsh’ Fugitive John Blauvelt Arrested In Oregon

Investigators said John Blauvelt, 33, who was AWOL from the Army, was on the run for six years after allegedly killing his wife. U.S. Marshals said that during the arrest, Blauvelt was going by the name "Ben Klein".

True Crime News Roundup: Elderly Man Missing For Months Found Dead In Trash Can Outside His Home

Plus: NYC sixth-grader struck and killed by stray bullet; New Hampshire police search for person of interest in double homicide; Fyre Festival fraudster released early from prison; and manhunt continues for escaped Texas prisoner.

Omaima Nelson: The Model Who Killed, Castrated & Ate Her Husband For Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day 1991, Nelson unleashed her fury, she claimed, over the sexual terror and other abuses to which her husband Bill had subjected her.

True Crime News Roundup: Woman Who Manipulated Boyfriend Into Killing Her Husband Sentenced

Plus: Principal accused of having yearslong sexual relationship with student; NYC teen mother allegedly threw newborn from fifth-floor window; dispute over dog turns deadly in Connecticut; and a judge denies a request for DNA testing in West Memphis Three case.

A Man’s Family Is Certain He Was Wrongly Convicted Of Murdering His Pregnant Wife In 1997

Rodney Patrick McNeal is in prison after authorities say he murdered his wife in a fit of rage in 1997. His family has been adamant about his innocence ever since.

Judge Accused Of Killing Wife Allegedly Texted Staff ‘I Just Shot My Wife. I Won’t Be In Tomorrow.”

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ferguson allegedly texted staff only minutes after shooting his wife, Sheryl Ferguson, during a heated argument on Aug. 3, 2023.