A Stanford grad student with a promising future has shocked the Stanford campus community after poisoning her classmates. This student is described by classmates as quiet, timid and somewhat unsure of herself, but most of all she is the last person anyone would expect to poison her classmates.
A Stanford grad student is facing charges and she has banned from campus after she poisoned four of her classmates. Xiangyu Ouyang, 26, admitted to putting paraformaldehyde in four of her classmates’ water bottles, according to People Magazine on April 3.
These poisonings came with some horrific and very scary symptoms that happened instantly upon drinking the spiked water to at least one student. That student described the episode as very frightening when after taking a swig of water an immediate burning sensation in her mouth was so bad that she couldn’t swallow water to ease the pain. Her eyes became watery and irritated and she began to salivate uncontrollably, which is what the Fountain Hopper reported.
So what is paraformaldehyde? According to the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary: “Paraformaldehyde is a white powder (CH2O)x that consists of a polymer of formaldehyde and is used especially as a fungicide.”
ABC News today reports that the 26-year-old Ouyang is a student who comes from Singapore. This extreme case, which happened in September, is just beginning to make the rounds on the Stanford campus. Students are just starting to hear about this case.
Ouyang is charged with four counts of poisoning after the four classmates drank from their spiked water bottles. Besides the poisoning, other odd things were happening to Ouyang’s classmates, like students finding their research stem cells dead.
It was security cameras that pointed to Ouyang, who was first captured on camera near the location of other students stem cell research, a place where she didn’t belong. Then the stem cells mysteriously began to die off. When the students started to complain about the odd smell in their water, Ouyang was questioned and admitted to poisoning her four classmates.
The students who were poisoned are all women. Some of them drank enough of the water to experience the frightening symptoms of a burning mouth and throat.
While Ouyang was described as a bit odd, no one ever thought she had the capability of poisoning her classmates and they especially didn’t think she was the type of person who would wish any of her classmates harm. “Awkward and strange,” yes, but she didn’t have any “glaring obvious issues,” said another student.
Ouyang apologized and said she never meant to cause anyone harm. She also told police that this was her “cry for help.” She said she had stopped taking her antidepressants prior to this incident.
Ouyang didn’t cause a threat to the masses and this was an isolated incident to a select group of classmates. Stanford University has been providing support to the group that was involved. Ouyang is due in court on May 15, in the meantime she is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.