Police: Long Island man poisons wife

October 30, 2008 3:32:54 AM PDT
A Long Island man is accused of trying to poison his wife, who remains hospitalized. Police say David Steeves told them he poisoned his wife because he didn't want anyone else to be with her.

She is unconscious and not expected to live.

Police say the 43-year-old Steeves bought cyanide off the internet a month before spiking his estranged wife's coffee with it, with intent to kill her.

"They were estranged because he told her he was gay and he tells us he felt he didn't want to see her with anyone else," said Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick.

It happened according to police in Center Moriches at Steeves home where he and the couple's two teenage boys live. Maureen Steeves often visited to do laundry and cook.

On Saturday Steeves, allegedly poisoned her coffee, then left for the store.

When he returned he found smoke in the house, food burning and his wife on the floor foaming at the mouth.

Investigators say Steeves called 911, but then while his wife lay unconscious in a hospital bed he fled the country to England with the couple's children. He eventually went to Florida.

Authorities finally arrested Steeves at Kennedy Airport Tuesday.

Wednesday, agents executed a search warrant at his home looking for the cyanide, saying two boxes had been shipped there.

What police say happened has neighbors reeling, especially since the divorce was uncontested--and the family still spent time together for the sake of their boys.

The teenage boys are with social services. Their mother is in grave condition, unconscious with little or no brain activity.

The attempted murder charge is expected to be upgraded if she dies.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Emily Smith

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