TOCHIGI (TR) – Tochigi Prefectural Police on Monday arrested a 33-year-old housewife in Utsunomiya City for attempting to kill her estranged husband by poisoning his alcohol, reports Nippon News Network (Nov. 30).
Yoko Kage is alleged to have entered the kitchen of her husband, a 34-year-old member of the Ground Self-Defense Forces, and inserted the poison ricin, which she had extracted from a castor oil plant, into a container of shochu, a distilled spirit often derived from a potato or grain.
Kage, who has been charged with attempted murder, has declined to comment on the allegations.
The matter came to light in September after a pharmaceutical company contacted police about a person who had attempted to buy a hazardous material using a fake name. After an investigation was launched, it was learned that the suspect had previously consulted with police about trouble with her husband. The couple has been separated since March.
Investigators then questioned Kage’s husband, who said that in August he had gotten sick after drinking shochu, according to TBS News (Nov. 30). A subsequent analysis of his alcohol revealed it to contain a number of poisons.
Police then began monitoring the man’s residence. On October 29, the suspect was seen entering his home. Police then analyzed a carton of cloudy white shochu and discovered ricin inside.
“There was no reason to suspect my wife,” the man is quoted by Nippon News Network. “I thought it was gastroenteritis.”