True Crime News Roundup: Dermatologist Accused Of Trying To Poison Her Husband With Drain Cleaner
Plus: New Orleans mother suspected of fatally stabbing her daughter; police make arrest in 1982 cold case murder of California teen; Gabby Petito’s family announces wrongful death lawsuit; New Hampshire police now investigating case of child missing for years as homicide.
Irvine Police Department
A radiologist accuses his dermatologist wife of trying to poison him with drain cleaner.
On Aug. 4, police in Irvine, California, arrested Yue “Emily” Yu after her radiologist husband, Jack Chen, claimed she put Drano drain cleaner in his lemonade at least three times in the past several months, causing him to become increasingly sick, police and court documents show.
Chen’s doctor eventually diagnosed him with two stomach ulcers, gastritis, and esophagitis, according to the documents.
Police said Chen, 53, hid cameras in the kitchen of the family’s home and allegedly “captured video evidence supporting his suspicion.”
He then shared the footage with detectives, and they arrested his wife of 10 years after they executed a search warrant, ABC News reported.
Yu, the director of dermatology with Mission Heritage Medical Group in Mission Viejo, has not been charged with any crimes, and she posted bond and was released from custody on Aug. 5, The Mercury News reported.
That same day, 45-year-old Yu’s husband was granted a temporary restraining order for himself and the couple’s two children, ages 8 and 7. He also filed for divorce and requested custody.
Yu’s defense lawyer, David Wohl, said his client “vehemently and unequivocally” denies the allegations against her.
“The videos do not depict her trying to poison her husband or harm anyone in her family,” Wohl said, claiming that whenever Yu “poured Drano into a cup it was completely empty” and “for facilitating use in the sink or any other part of the house that was clogged as far as the drainage goes.”
The attorney claimed Chen made the allegations against his wife “in an attempt to gain an advantage in the divorce and custody case.”
A Louisiana woman allegedly stabbed her two children, one fatally, amid an ongoing custody battle, police say.
A New Orleans mother is accused of stabbing her two children and then posting a chilling video about it on social media.
“I’m done,” a woman believed to be Janee Pedescleaux allegedly said in the video that’s since been deleted, NOLA.com reported. "My children are dead. I’m done. I'm done with life."
According to the NOPD, on Aug. 7, officers responding to the home of 31-year-old Pedescleaux learned her 2-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter had both been stabbed and rushed to the hospital by their father, Jermaine Roberts.
The girl died from her injuries, and her younger brother was listed in critical condition.
According to court records obtained by NOLA.com, the siblings’ father has been in an ongoing custody fight with Pedescleaux and claimed in legal documents she was “not stable or providing a healthy environment for the kids.”
Police also noted that “the preliminary investigation indicates that this incident is guardian related in nature.”
Pedescleaux faces charges of second-degree murder, attempted murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, police said.
An elderly man was arrested in connection with the cold case rape and brutal slaying of a teenager almost 40 years ago.
Police in California have identified the main suspect in the cold case brutal stabbing death of a teenager decades ago, authorities announced.
Gary Ramirez, 75, was arrested on Aug. 2 at his home in Hawaii, and the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office said he will face murder, kidnapping, and rape charges in connection with the 1982 death of 15-year-old Karen Stitt.
“Behind every old murder file in every major police department, there is a person, heartbreak, and a mystery,” D.A. Jeff Rosen said. “The mystery of Karen Stitt’s death has been solved thanks to advances in forensic science and a detective that would never, ever give up.”
According to prosecutors, Stitt had gone from Palo Alto to Sunnyvale, where she was visiting her boyfriend.
Around midnight, Stitt’s boyfriend walked with her so she could catch a bus back home. “Her boyfriend, worried he would get grounded for being out after his curfew, ran home after watching Ms. Stitt walk toward the bus stop,” prosecutors said.
The next day, Stitt’s body was found around 100 yards from the bus stop and an investigation determined whoever killed the teenager “left both his blood and bodily fluid” at the scene.
An autopsy determined the victim was stabbed 59 times.
In 2019, a tip helped detectives determine that Stitt’s attacker was likely one of four brothers from Fresno, prosecutors said.
In April, police identified Ramirez as “the likely source” of the forensic material recovered at the crime scene 40 years earlier, and a lab recently confirmed it, according to prosecutors.
Ramirez is expected to be extradited from Hawaii to California. He could be sentenced up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the charges against him.
Gabby Petito’s family says they plan to sue police in Utah for her wrongful death.
The family of Gabby Petito announced on Aug. 8 that they plan to file a $50 million lawsuit against police in Moab, Utah, claiming law enforcement negligently failed to recognize and investigate a domestic violence incident involving the 22-year-old woman and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, while the couple was on a road trip last summer.
“If the officers had been properly trained and followed the law, Gabby would still be alive today,” said the family’s lawyer, James McConkie. “They did not have the training that they needed to recognize the clear signs that were evident that morning, that Gabby was a victim and that she was in serious need of immediate help.”
Last September, police released body cam footage of officers speaking with Petito and Laundrie for around 75 minutes during the traffic stop on Aug. 12, 2021.
“I wanted to jump through the screen and rescue her,” Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, said of the “very painful” video at a news conference to announce the lawsuit.
New Hampshire authorities say the case of a girl who went missing three years ago is now considered a homicide.
A New Hampshire girl vanished nearly three years ago, but police only learned in December that she was missing — and the case is now considered a homicide, according to authorities.
The state’s attorney general, John Formella, said Harmony Montgomery was last seen alive in November 2019 and likely killed in Manchester the following month, when she was 5 years old, NBC News reported.
At the time, the child was in the custody of her father, Adam Montogomery.
“This is now officially a homicide investigation," Formella said, explaining detectives have collected “biological evidence” that allegedly points to foul play.
He added, “Our investigators will continue to seek justice and look into the circumstances of Harmony's murder and search for her remains.”
Officials have not released further details about the evidence.
The missing girl’s father, Adam Montgomery, and his wife, Kayla, who is not the girl’s biological mother, were both arrested in January 2022 in connection with the disappearance, according to NBC News.
Adam Montgomery faces charges of felony second-degree assault, interference with custody and two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child. His wife was charged with welfare fraud.
Both have pleaded not guilty.