When Viktoria Nasyrova went to visit her fellow Russian-speaking friend at her New York City home in August 2016, she brought a slice of cheesecake laced with a secret ingredient, authorities said.
The ingredient was phenazepam, a potent Russian-made tranquilizer, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Nasyrova, 42, and the woman both have dark hair and the same skin complexion, Brown said. After the 35-year-old woman ate the dessert, she began to feel sick and laid down, prosecutors said. Her last memory before passing out was seeing Nasyrova sitting beside her inside the Queens home, Brown said.
The next day, the victim’s friend found her unconscious in her bed. Dressed in lingerie with pills scattered around her body, it appeared as if the woman had tried to kill herself, Brown said. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.
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The victim later returned home to find that her passport and employment authorization card were missing, Brown said, along with a gold ring and cash.
Federal officials tested the remaining cheesecake stored in a container and confirmed that the treat was laced with the tranquilizer. The pills found around the victim were also laced with the drug.
Law enforcement caught up to Nasyrova and arrested her last March, authorities said. But it was for another crime.
She’s also accused of drugging and killing a 54-year-old woman in her native country in 2014 before fleeing to New York, the Associated Press reported. That victim’s burned body was uncovered in a grave, the New York Daily News said.
Investigators said Nasyrova lived a glamorous lifestyle as a fugitive in Brooklyn, CBS New York reported.
Nasyrova has publicly denied those allegations in an interview with CBS.
When Nasyrova was arrested, police recovered the passport, employment card and ring stolen from the New York City victim, authorities said.
“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,” Brown said.
Nasyrova faces charges that include second-degree attempted murder, first-degree burglary and several other offenses.