Ex-lab worker’s feces case sent to grand jury

Posted: July 17, 2014

The Winchester Star

Andrea Joy Edwards

WINCHESTER — A case involving a former Valley Health laboratory assistant who allegedly spread a contaminated stool sample that tested positive for a contagious bacterial infection on a coworker’s computer mouse and desk chair was certified Wednesday to a grand jury.

Andrea Joy Edwards, 30, of the 100 block of Greenwood Court, Cross Junction, appeared Wednesday in Winchester General District Court and waived her right to a preliminary hearing on a charge of using an infectious biological substance or radiological agent with the intent to injure another.

Judge David S. Whitacre certified the felony charge to an August grand jury.

Edwards was arrested at about 3 p.m. on April 3.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, the victim filed a police report the day before.

He or she said that on March 31, Edwards obtained a stool sample from a Valley Health patient that she personally tested in the laboratory.

The sample tested positive for Clostridium difficile, “also known as CDF, which is a bacteria known to cause infection, diarrhea, abdominal pain and death,” according to the complaint.

“[Edwards] removed part of the CDF infected stool sample from the laboratory and took it to [the victim’s] office area,” the complaint states. “[She] then placed the infected stool on [the victim’s] computer mouse and desk chair.”

Edwards allegedly confessed to committing the act with the intent of making the victim ill with diarrhea.

She worked as a Valley Health lab assistant for six years before allegedly committing the crime.

— Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton@winchesterstar.com