This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A woman has been charged with attempted murder for serving a Vernal man a poisoned smoothie in 2008.
Selena Irene York was charged in 8th District Court nearly three years after leaving Utah for Oregon.
In September 2008, Edward Zurburchen, who was nearly 80, was taken to Ashley Valley Medical Center with dizziness and numbness in the left side of his face. Doctors initially thought he had suffered a stroke, but after testing, doctors found ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze, in his system.
Zurburchen said he did not intentionally ingest it to commit suicide and did not appear depressed in the hospital, doctors wrote. They called police, believing Zurburchen had been poisoned.
Police questioned York, who, along with her teenage daughter, was living as a roommate with Zurburchen. She said that she had given him a smoothie, but had not put anything poisonous in it, according to court documents. Police spoke with the owners of the smoothie stand but found no signs of antifreeze.
Zurburchen said he was "very reluctant to believe" that York was involved in the poisoning. Police had no other leads.
The case went cold until April when the Vernal police received a letter from Joseph Dominic Ferraro, who was in jail in Oregon for an unrelated crime.
Ferraro and York were previously in a relationship, but after it ended, the two had remained close. Ferraro wrote that York had detailed her plan to kill Zurburchen, and had bragged about the poisoning. After the poisoning, Zurburchen had gotten a restraining order against York. She then moved with Ferraro to Oregon, he wrote.
He was coming forward with the information because he said York had forged power of attorney documents and had drained several of his bank accounts.
Two Vernal police officers flew to Oregon to interview Ferraro and question York. She confessed to putting poison in the smoothie. She made her daughter dump out half of it, then she filled it back up with the antifreeze. York told her daughter to thoroughly clean the kitchen and destroy the antifreeze bottle.
Police also discovered that York's daughter had written an email to Ferraro that contained the line, "You know, like I hope mom doesn't poison you with antifreeze, lol."
York was charged with second-degree felony attempted murder on June 30. A warrant for her arrest has been issued.