Navy Man Suspected of Trying to Poison Wife with Notorious Rat Killer

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A San Diego Sheriff’s vehicle. Photo by Alexander Nguyen

A Navy man from Dulzura was jailed Thursday on suspicion of trying to fatally poison his wife.

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Deputies arrested 27-year-old Race Remington Uto at Naval Medical Center San Diego Thursday afternoon, sheriff’s Lt. Greg Rylaarsdam said. The lieutenant said he could not disclose why Uto was at the hospital when he was taken into custody.

Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, became involved in the case earlier this month, after physicians notified them that Uto’s wife was undergoing emergency medical treatment due to an “extreme level” of thallium in her system, according to Rylaarsdam.

“Thallium is a heavy metal and, in years past, has been used as a rat poison and ant killer,” the lieutenant said. “Because of the levels of thallium in the victim’s body, medical staff and investigators believed her exposure had been intentional.”

The woman remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon. Her identity and condition were withheld.

Investigators are still looking into the source of the thallium and the motive for the suspect’s alleged attempt to kill his wife, Rylaarsdam said.

Uto was booked into county jail in Vista on suspicion of three counts of attempted murder and two counts of poisoning a person. He was being held on $2 million bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Although thallium was banned nationwide in 1972 for use as a pesticide, it is still used commercially in such industries as electronics, pharmaceutical and glass manufacturing.

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–City News Service, staff

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