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Army CID agent charged with murder in wife’s death attempted to procure puffer fish poison

By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 26, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas — An agent with the Army Criminal Investigation Command assigned to Fort Hood was charged with murder this week in the two-year-old death of his wife at their off-base home, service officials said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Lesly J. Lindor was charged in connection with the Sept. 3, 2018, death of his wife Rachelle Lindor, 34, at their home in Harker Heights, a town located near Fort Hood, said Chris Grey, spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command, also known as CID.

Lindor also was charged by Fort Hood officials with attempt to violate the Federal Biological Weapons statute, failure to obey a lawful order, failure to obey a general regulation, dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice, Grey said. A formal charge sheet was not available yet.

The biological weapons statute relates to prohibitions on naturally occurring, bioengineered or synthesized components of any such microorganism or infectious substance capable of causing death or disease to humans, animals and plants.

Lindor was attempting to obtain tetrodotoxin, a poison that comes from puffer fish and similar species, according to a military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The toxin impacts the central nervous system and is more deadly than cyanide, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Symptoms start within 20 minutes to 2 hours after ingesting.

No court date was listed yet for Lindor, but he has been placed in pre-trial confinement.

The Harker Heights Police Department began as the lead investigative agency on the case, with CID agents conducting a joint investigation, Grey said. As the case progressed, Army investigators “became suspicious of the cause and manner of death and continued an independent investigation into the death of accused’s spouse,” he said

Harker Heights police assisted with some interviews in support of the Army investigation, said Lawrence Stewart, a police spokesman. There are no civilian charges pending in this case, he said.

Lindor, who joined the Army in 2010 and became an agent seven years later, was placed on administrative duty in October 2018. He was removed from an investigative unit and placed in a support unit, Grey said. He has not worked any CID investigations since October 2018.

thayer.rose@stripes.com
Twitter: @Rose_Lori