ROXBURY, NJ – A Succasunna woman's plan to kill her grandmother by poisoning her with anti-freeze came to light because her friend, who knew about the plot, told police, court papers reveal.
The friend not only showed detectives text messages sent by Elise Conroy - in which Conroy discussed her idea - but acknowledged joining Conway on a run to Walmart to buy anti-freeze to carry it out, police said.
When questioned by detectives, Conroy, 26, admitted pouring anti-freeze into grape juice she gave to her grandmother in late July, police said. They said she confessed that her plan was to kill the 84-year-old woman. The grandmother suffered no injury, according to authorities.
Prior to moving forward with the plot, Conroy sought advice from a friend via text messages, police said. She told the friend that she was interested in ways to kill the woman in a fashion that wasn’t obvious, said Roxbury Police Detective Jack Niemynski in an affidavit.
The friend, whose identity or gender was not revealed in the affidavit, accompanied Conroy on a trip to the Ledgewood Walmart so Conroy could buy the anti-freeze, said Niemynski.
The detective also said Conroy told the friend that she poured the anti-freeze into the juice after tasting it herself and finding it to be “fruity and bitter.”
Conroy, a Roxbury High School graduate, was charged Aug. 12 with attempted murder. She is in the Morris County jail pending a court appearance later this week.
The investigation into Conroy began Aug. 8, according to Niemynski’s sworn statement. He wrote that police “came in contact with an individual, whose name and identity are known to law enforcement, who advised that he/she was aware" that Conway, "was trying to bring harm to" her grandmother.
The cooperating witness provided detectives with text messages sent by Conway, Niemynski said in the affidavit. In one of the texts, Conroy spoke about researching whether non-conspicuous, non-traceable “liquids/foods/chemicals can kill an old person,” according to the detective.
In particular, Conroy discussed with the friend whether windshield wiper fluid or anti-freeze would work, Niemynski wrote. He said the friend admitted joining Conroy on the Walmart trip but stayed in a vehicle while Conroy went into the store.
“Conroy returned to the vehicle with a bottle of anti-freeze,” contended the detective, citing the witness. “Surveillance video from the Walmart on July 26 confirmed that Conroy entered the store and purchased anti-freeze,” says the affidavit.
Later that day, Conroy texted her friend to describe that the anti-freeze was “fruity and bitter” tasting, according to the detective, who said the suspect also texted, “I smelled and tasted a little on my finger then spit.“
The friend also showed police a text message in which Conroy said her grandmother noticed something wrong with the juice, police said. “She said that the juice tasted weird,” wrote Conroy in the text, according to Niemynski.
He said Conroy admitted her actions when she was interviewed Aug. 11. He said she also told detectives they could find the anti-freeze bottle “in the garage of her home under a metal chair.”
Police subsequently located the bottle where Conroy said she put it, according to the detective.
Morris County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Fred Snowflack said Conroy’s grandmother was not injured. “She’s OK,” he said. “She’s fine.”
Nobody answered the door at Conroy's home on Monday, but neighbors described Conroy as a seemingly normal young woman who was regularly seen helping her grandmother but otherwise kept to herself. "There was no fighting that I ever heard," said one neighbor, who asked that her name not be published. "The grand-daughter does everything; gets the mail, does the garbage," she said. "I never saw any arguments. They both seemed quiet."
Conroy posted a profile of herself about six years ago on a site that lists babysitters. In her profile, she said she volunteered at a day camp called Celebrate the Children since she was 11, and worked there since she was 16. "I also know cpr and First Aid," says the profile. "I am now 20. I do not smoke and i am great with children and babies. i am also comfortable with pets."