New York Prosecutors say Russian native Viktoria Nasyrova, 42, wanted to exploit the similarity in looks between herself and the victim in order to steal her identity.
“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,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
He added that both women have dark hair, the same skin complexion and speak Russian.
Mr Brown said that in August 2016, Nasyrova, visited the Forest Hills, Queens, home of the 35-year-old victim with a cheesecake.
“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.”
The following day, a friend found the victim unconscious in her bed, “dressed in lingerie with pills scattered around her body as if the woman had attempted to kill herself,” Brown said.
Returning home following her discharge from hospital she discovered that her passport, employment card, a ring and cash had disappeared from her home.
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After she reported the thefts, detectives tested the cheesecake and discovered it contained the Russian tranquiliser Phenazepan.
Nasyrova fled to the US in 2014 from Russia where she is wanted in connection wit the killing of a 54-year-old woman whose remains were found were found burned and buried two miles from her home in Krasnodar.