A 65-year-old Sun Lakes woman is out of jail on bond on a charge of attempted first-degree murder after Chandler police said she injected feces into the IV of her husband, who was recovering from surgery.
Chandler police said Thursday that Rose Mary Vogel posted her $100,000 bond and was released from jail. She was ordered to stay away from her husband who has been released from the hospital.
Vogel was in a Chandler Regional Medical Center recovery room with her 66-year-old husband around 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 30 after he underwent surgery on his heart, according to the police report.
Vogel is a retired nurse who had worked at Chandler Regional, police said.
"This was not your typical Rose Mary. It was like another person or a demon got a hold of her or she snapped," said neighbor Mary Lola Reese.
Reese, and her husband, John Reese have known Vogel and her husband for more than a decade and never saw anything out of the ordinary.
"They seemed very happy. We never expected anything," said John Reese.
The Vogel's next-door neighbor of 11 years, Harvey Zehnder, agreed with the Reeses.
"Nothing ever led me to believe there were any problems," said Zehnder.
Two nurses walked in and found Vogel handling the IV when an IV pump alarm went off. They said they saw Vogel touching the pump and that Vogel told them the line needed to be flushed, according to the report.
Another nurse found a brown substance in the line, removed it from the patient's arm and said there was a fecal odor to the line. She capped the line and went for help, according to the report.
When she returned, she found Vogel trying to empty the IV bag into the trash, but the nurse grabbed it away from her, according to the report.
The substance was tested in a hospital lab and was positive for traces of fecal matter.
Dr. Jerry Ellen Owensby, a Mesa internist who isn't treating the victim, said the nurse's quick action likely saved the man's life.
"Given that he had a heart procedure, the introduction of bacteria is even more critical because the tissue has been disrupted or irritated and it would be more likely for bacteria to lodge there," she said.
Owensby said if fecal matter enters the blood stream, it can be deadly.
"This isn't just gross, this would definitely be malicious intent," she said. "It could cause permanent (organ) damage even if they survive."
Vogel was arrested initially for aggravated assault, but a search of her purse turned up three syringes, two still containing fluid, and a third with what appeared to be traces of feces, according to the report. The charges were upgraded to attempted first-degree murder.
Investigators said they had no motive, and that the investigation was continuing.
Zehnder said he can't imagine why Vogel would, according to police, try to kill her husband of 30 years.
"I can't comprehend that," Zehnder said. "It's evil. It blows my mind."
Chandler Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Julie Graham said because of the ongoing investigation, the hospital will not comment on the incident.
"The safety of our patients has always been and will continue to be an utmost priority at Chandler Regional Medical Center," Graham said.
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