Death by cheesecake! Sheepshead Bay woman charged with feeding victim poisoned dessert, stealing identity

Death by cheesecake! Sheepshead Bay woman charged with feeding victim poisoned dessert, stealing identity
Associated Press / Larry Crowe

A Sheepshead Bay woman allegedly fed her look-alike in Queens a poisonous cheesecake in an attempt to kill her and steal her identity.

The Queens District Attorney’s office charged the woman with attempted murder, burglary, and a litany of other crimes on Feb. 28, according to a press release.

“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” said Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

The office said that the Sheepshead Bay woman visited the home of her doppelganger on August 28, 2016, and gave her a cheesecake. The victim ate the dessert, and then felt sick and laid down. The next day, a friend found her unconscious in her bed, dressed in lingerie with pills around her body, which resembled a suicide. After she went to the hospital, and then returned home, she discovered that her passport, employment card, a gold ring, and cash were missing from her home.

The two women — who both have dark hair, share a similar skin complexion, and speak Russian — knew each other before the incident, a Queens District Attorney’s office spokeswoman said.

Department of Homeland Security officials tested the cheesecake and found that it included phenazepam — a tranquilizer invented in the Soviet Union. The Federal Bureau of Investigation determined the pills found beside the victim were also phenazepam, according to the district attorney’s office.

The Sheepshead Bay woman was arrested on March 20, 2017, following a police investigation. Police found the victim’s passport and other belongings after arresting her, the office said.

The alleged poisoner was charged with attempted murder, burglary, attempted assault, assault, reckless endangerment, unlawful imprisonment, two larceny charges, and criminal possession of stolen property. She is due back in court on May 25, and faces up to the 25 years in prison, also according to the district attorney’s office.

The lawyer defending the accused did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Daily Mail reported that the defendant is also wanted in Russia for allegedly murdering a woman in 2014. A district attorney’s office spokeswoman said the office had no information on the accusation, and the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC did not immediately respond to an inquiry on the matter.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.