A New York woman who allegedly gave her friend a cheesecake laced with a tranquilizer before stealing her identity was charged with attempted murder on Wednesday, officials said.
Russian native Viktoria Nasyrova, 42, of Brooklyn, was arraigned Tuesday on attempted murder, burglary, assault and other charges after being arrested in March 2017, the Queen’s District Attorney’s Office announced.
“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,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
The incident happened back in August 2016 when Nasyrova, visited the Forest Hills, Queens, home of Olga Tsvyk, the 35-year-old victim, bearing a gift of a cheesecake, said Brown. He added that both women have dark hair, the same skin complexion and speak Russian.
“The woman ate the cheesecake, fell ill and laid down,” Brown said. “Before passing out, the woman’s last memory is of seeing the defendant sitting beside her inside her home.”
Tsvyk told the New York Post the dessert was given to her as a “gift,” and was just “plain cheesecake.”
“It tasted like a regular cheesecake, nothing out of the ordinary,” she told the Post.
The following day, a friend found Tsvyk unconscious in her bed, “dressed in lingerie with pills scattered around her body as if the woman had attempted to kill herself,” Brown said.
Tsvyk was treated at a hospital and when she returned home she realized that her passport and employment authorization card were missing, along with a gold ring and cash.
Law enforcement agents with the Department of Homeland Security tested the cheesecake and confirmed it was laced with the Russian tranquilizer Phenazepan. The pills contained the same drug as well, Brown said.
Besides her involvement in the alleged poisoning, Nasyrova is currently in prison on Rikers Island in New York for stealing from two men she met on online dating sites.
“We mutually satisfied each other’s primal instincts,” Nasyrova told The New York Post in Russian last year from jail.
In addition to her alleged crimes in the U.S., the 42-year-old is accused of drugging and killing a woman in her native country before fleeing to New York.
She denied those charges in an interview with CBS‘ “48 Hours,” saying, “I’m not a killer.”
Nasyrova faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the poisoning plot, and is due in court on May 25.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.