SEATTLE – An Everett woman who found what is believed to be the deadly toxin ricin in her husband’s home office on Wednesday was granted an order of protection after saying that she feared her husband had been planning to poison her.
The FBI, which is investigating in conjunction with Everett police, said the suspected ricin has been contained and will be sent to an East Coast laboratory that specializes in forensic testing of contaminated materials.
FBI spokeswoman Robbie Burroughs said the suspected ricin poses no danger to the neighborhood or community.
Everett police were called to the 1200 block of 50th Street Southwest on Monday evening in response to a reported domestic disturbance. When they arrived, they found the 43-year-old woman bleeding in the yard and her 48-year-old husband unresponsive inside the home.
The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment of her injuries and then released Monday night. The man was admitted to the hospital for an undisclosed medical condition. He remained hospitalized Friday.
Everett Police Department spokesman Sgt. Robert Goetz said the man has been notified that once he’s released from the hospital, police intend to book him into Snohomish County Jail on investigation of domestic-violence assault and investigation of unlawful imprisonment.
Goetz said police believe the man kept his wife captive in the house for several hours during the alleged assault on Monday.
According to police and court documents, the woman and her sister on Wednesday went into the man’s office – which the woman had never before entered despite years of marriage – and found empty bottles of Visine, lye, rat bait and a “suspicious substance.”
Police called the FBI when they determined that the substance was likely ricin.
Ricin is a deadly toxin that is extracted from castor beans. Its use in biological warfare has been explored by the military in the U.S. and other countries.
In her petition for protection, the woman said she feared her husband had been planning to poison her.
She said in court documents that he beat her with a weight on Monday and pushed her down the stairs. She said she believed he had been headed for his guns when he collapsed. She also said he had tried to break her neck in 2008.
“I am afraid he will succeed in killing me,” she wrote.
According to police and court documents, the self-employed man had filed for bankruptcy in May.