STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

For 17 months, a man allegedly poisoned his co-worker's food and water

A female engineer at a Bay Area consulting firm says she became sick after consuming food and drinks she had left at work -- and she believes they were poisoned by a colleague, according to police.

Posted: Apr 5, 2019 5:18 AM
Updated: Apr 5, 2019 5:19 AM


A female engineer at a Bay Area consulting firm says she suffered months of "immediate and significant health problems" after consuming food and drinks she had left at work -- and she believes they were poisoned by a colleague, according to police.

By reviewing surveillance video from inside her office at Berkeley Engineering and Research in Berkeley, California, Rong Yuan said she saw her co-worker, David Xu, spiking her water, according to the court documents.

Yuan has not responded to CNN requests for comment.

Xu, 34, was arrested on March 28 and has been charged with three felonies: premeditated attempted murder and two counts of poisoning with enhancement. The last two counts stem from suffering experienced by Yuan's relatives, who drank from her water bottle after she brought it home from the office.

All three alleged victims' blood samples contained elevated levels of cadmium, according to police.

Xu, also an engineer, pleaded not guilty to charges during a court appearance on Thursday.

"Mr. Xu is presumed innocent. That means despite the allegations, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by the government," his lawyer, Julia Jayne, told CNN.

Yuan told Berkeley Police last month that she had been noticing "a strange taste or smell from her water and food left unattended in her office" on multiple occasions between October 2017 and last month. She said she suffered immediate health problems after consuming the items and at times had to visit the emergency room.

In 2019, she reviewed the surveillance video, which showed Xu adding a substance to her water bottle twice -- once in February and once in March, according to the documents. Tests later concluded that cadmium, a toxic metal, was present in samples taken from her water bottle.

Exposure to cadmium can cause cancer. When ingested, the metal targets the body's cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, neurological, reproductive, and respiratory systems, according to OSHA. Common industrial uses for the toxic metal are in batteries, solar cells, corrosion-protection coatings, and the substance is also used in pigments.

Berkeley Engineering and Research did not respond to CNN requests for comment.

The Alameda County District Attorney's office told CNN that Xu's bail is set at $2 million.

His next court date is on May 9 for a pretrial hearing.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 21774

Reported Deaths: 368
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah501498
Washington316125
Marion297973
Umatilla231230
Clackamas157144
Malheur82213
Deschutes61610
Lane5963
Jackson4862
Yamhill47013
Lincoln4199
Union3952
Jefferson3774
Morrow3773
Polk32612
Linn29611
Klamath2042
Hood River2010
Wasco1943
Benton1716
Douglas1561
Josephine1242
Columbia1010
Coos910
Clatsop890
Crook501
Baker400
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry170
Sherman160
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant40
Wheeler00
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 578946

Reported Deaths: 10523
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2108744999
Riverside41983820
Orange40527724
San Bernardino36072546
San Diego32975594
Kern24995183
Fresno17846171
San Joaquin13870235
Alameda13631205
Santa Clara12962207
Sacramento12274179
Tulare11549198
Stanislaus10264169
Imperial9867244
Contra Costa9787146
Ventura874093
San Francisco769267
Santa Barbara699672
San Mateo6431122
Merced573670
Monterey549437
Marin540481
Kings445356
Solano427441
Sonoma375350
Madera246339
Placer237724
San Luis Obispo227817
Yolo183444
Santa Cruz12876
Butte12388
Napa112911
Sutter9967
San Benito7654
El Dorado7552
Lassen6830
Yuba6664
Mendocino47210
Shasta46910
Glenn4363
Colusa3965
Nevada3571
Tehama3031
Humboldt2864
Lake2402
Amador1853
Mono1581
Tuolumne1552
Calaveras1471
Inyo1063
Siskiyou1020
Del Norte1000
Mariposa622
Plumas360
Modoc50
Trinity50
Sierra40
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 89°
Brookings
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 60°
Crater Lake
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 83°
Grants Pass
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 88°
Klamath Falls
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 83°
Sunny and warmer Thursday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events