San Rafael police arrested a 67-year-old man suspected of attempting to poison his 63-year-old girlfriend by making her drink water spiked with chlorine, according to police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher.
Robert Lewis Lochridge, who listed his address as Redwood City, was booked in Marin County Jail on Saturday on suspicion of attempted murder, poisoning or altering a drink and cruelty toward a dependent adult. He is being held in lieu of $500,000.
Police received reports on Friday from staff at the senior facility Northgate Care Center located on 40 Professional Center Parkway, who said they were concerned about discolored bottled water that Lochridge was allegedly bringing to his girlfriend, Rohrbacher said.
The bottled water, which the victim told police had minerals and “was good for her ailments,” smelled like chlorine. When police took the liquid to a nearby a pool service employee in Terra Linda, the employee said there was more chlorine in one of the bottles than there was in a pool and that he wouldn’t even swim in a pool with that amount of the chemical, according to Rohrbacher.
Lochridge told the victim that the water contained minerals that were good for her health and that she needed to consume 4 ounces every hour. He installed a small refrigerator in her room and stocked it full of the bottles, according to Rohrbacher.
“The investigation is ongoing, but it appears he was looking to control her finances and get power of attorney,” she said.
The victim was taken to Marin General Hospital after the discovery and was released. She lived with Lochridge in the San Jose area for three years before coming to San Rafael several months ago.
“She already has some health problems, but we don’t know at this time what kind of long-term effects the chlorine had on her health,” Rohrbacher said.
It is unclear how long the victim consumed the water, but Rohrbacher estimated for a period of two to three weeks. Several bottles were found in her room, and the San Rafael police forensics team is currently running more tests.
Detectives located Lochridge in San Jose on Saturday and arrested him. He will appear in court on Tuesday morning.
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