Woman Poisoned by Mom and Sister Speaks Out

She forgives them, Sarah Staudte says
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2016 5:45 PM CDT
Woman Poisoned by Mom and Sister Speaks Out
Diane and Rachel Staudte   (AP Photo/Greene County Sheriff)

A 26-year-old Missouri woman poisoned and nearly killed by her mother and younger sister in 2013 is speaking out following their convictions this year. "I forgive them for what they did because forgiveness is the right thing to do," Sarah Staudte tells ABC News. Staudte's father Mark and brother Shaun died five months apart in 2012; their deaths were chalked up to "natural causes" and "prior medical issues." Then in 2013, Staudte was rushed to the hospital with her brain and kidneys failing. Doctors were perplexed, but an anonymous tip to police and a nurse pointing out Staudte's mother Diane's odd behavior—joking about her near-to-death daughter and talking about an upcoming vacation—led to a police investigation.

Diane and Staudte's sister Rachel admitted to poisoning Mark, Shaun, and Staudte. In a confession video released by the Springfield News-Leader, Diane said she put antifreeze in Coke and Gatorade then served it to her family. Rachel said they even ordered a special tasteless antifreeze online. Rachel told police they poisoned Mark to get "a little peace," Shaun "because he was annoying," and Staudte for being "very nosy." Diane said she felt stuck and unhappy; Staudte had student loans and didn't have a job to pay them. "You get tired of doing everything for your kids, and it's like you need to step up and do it," ABC quotes Diane as saying. Diane and Rachel were sentenced to life in prison. Staudte, who had to relearn to talk and walk, is still recovering. She hopes to one day work as a French translator. (More poisoning stories.)

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