SALT LAKE CITY – A woman was being held on an attempted murder charge Wednesday after police say she spiked her roommate's peach smoothie with antifreeze three years ago.
Selena Irene York, 33, was arrested this week in Eugene, Ore., where she remained jailed pending extradition back to Utah.
Police say Ed Zurbuchen, now 78, nearly died when York bought him a smoothie at a nearby store, dumped out half of it and poured in antifreeze before he drank it.
The Sept. 29, 2008, case went cold until a jilted boyfriend of York's recently came forward with new information, authorities said.
Police in Vernal, Utah, received a letter in April from Joseph Dominic Ferraro, who was awaiting trial on an unrelated case in Oregon but had information about the crime, according to court documents. The documents say he provided specific details of where York bought the smoothie and the antifreeze.
The biological father of York's teenage daughter, Zack Elderkin, later told investigators that the girl told him at the time about the man they were living with and how they planned to "knock him off."
Ferraro said he came forward with the information after York drained his bank accounts and sold both of his cars while he was in jail. He said she told him back in 2008 she planned to obtain power of attorney over Zurbuchen's finances, then kill him.
Authorities say they questioned York again in late June after receiving the letter and she admitted poisoning Zurbuchen. She claimed she only did it because she wanted him to "stop being mean" to her children.
When Zurbuchen was taken to a hospital after drinking the smoothie, He suffered from dizziness, speech problems and numbness on his face, authorities said. Tests determined he ingested ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze.
At the time, York acknowledged giving Zurbuchen the smoothie but denied putting antifreeze in it, and police didn't have enough evidence to charge her.
Vernal police declined to comment Wednesday.
It wasn't immediately clear if York had an attorney or when she would be brought back to Utah.
Zurbuchen, however, still lives in Vernal and says he hasn't had a peach smoothie since.
"Heavens no," he said Wednesday.
He said York was an acquaintance who fell on tough times and he allowed her and her daughter to stay with him for a while.
"I never thought she'd be sleeping upstairs in my room fabricating how to kill me," Zurbuchen said. "That just blew my mind. ... I'm just lucky I'm here."
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