Authorities in North Carolina say a man who worked as a paramedic is accused of using eye drops to kill his wife last year.
Joshua Lee Hunsucker, 35, of Mount Holly, was arrested Thursday in the Sept. 23, 2018, killing of Stacy Robinson Hunsucker, 32, the North Carolina Department of Insurance said in a statement. Joshua Hunsucker faces charges of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors said at a preliminary hearing Friday that Stacy Hunsucker's body contained a suspicious amount of an active ingredient that is found in eye drop medication, which can cause heart failure when ingested in large quantities, according to NBC affiliate WCNC in Charlotte.
Jordan Green, an attorney for the North Carolina Department of Insurance, said at the hearing that after Stacy Hunsucker's blood tested positive for a chemical found in eye drops, investigators interrogated Joshua Hunsucker. Green said he gave investigators enough information for them to arrest him, WCNC reported.
"I don't know that he would characterize it as a confession, but it certainly approached that level," Green said in court.
Joshua Hunsucker's attorney, David Teddy, declined to comment on the case to NBC News. He said in court Friday that he anticipates the case will be "strenuously opposed." Teddy said his client was a lead paramedic with Atrium Health and has no criminal record. A spokesman for Atrium Health told NBC News Tuesday that as of Friday, Joshua Hunsucker was no longer employed by the company.
Barry Smith, assistant director of public affairs for the North Carolina Office of Insurance, said Monday that Stacy Hunsucker's death was tied to a $250,000 life insurance payout.
Smith said the agency began investigating Joshua Hunsucker after Stacy Hunsucker's mother alleged he had committed insurance fraud and had received $250,000 from two life insurance policies, one for $50,000 and another for $200,000. She said she was suspicious of the circumstances surrounding her daughter's death. Joshua Hunsucker would not allow for an autopsy prior to his wife's cremation but a blood sample had been preserved as part of her desire to make an organ donation, the Shelby Star reported.
Stacy Hunsucker was a mother of two and worked at a preschool in Charlotte, according to her obituary.
The Gaston County Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations assisted in the investigation.
Hunsucker is being held at Gaston County Jail on a $1.5 million bond.