GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A Mount Holly man was charged with murdering his wife more than a year after her death when officials learned she was poisoned with a chemical found in eyedrops.
Joshua Hunsucker, 35, was booked into the Gaston County Jail Thursday night on a charge of first-degree murder.
According to records, Hunsucker bonded out of jail on Christmas Eve. His bail was set at $1.5 million.
A warrant said he is accused of killing his wife, Stacy Hunsucker, in September of 2018.
Investigators with the North Carolina Insurance Commission made the arrest.
In court Friday, an attorney for the insurance commission said Joshua gave a statement that they would take as a confession.
According to the attorney, the victim had tissue saved before her cremation for organ donation. After testing her tissue, it was revealed that she had been poisoned with the chemical found in eyedrops.
The chemical tetrahydrozoline gets the redness out of eyes by constricting blood vessels. Officials said that when you take it by mouth, it works like a neurotoxin and attacks your nervous system.
"That medicine has a dramatic effect on your heart and would cause heart stoppage or heart failure,” said state attorney Jordan Green.
Channel 9 discovered a GoFundMe page that was dedicated to raising money for the Hunsuckers.
It detailed heart problems that Stacy had for years, which seemed to confuse medical professionals. In 2015, it said she had a pacemaker installed.
Stacy’s family feared for the worst and wanted more information from state officials after her death.
According to the warrant, Joshua refused to allow an autopsy saying his wife wouldn’t want her body to be cut up, even though she was an organ donor.
Joshua’s coworkers said they were also concerned, because they said he moved on quickly after his wife’s death, welcoming a new girlfriend.
Channel 9 also learned that Joshua was a lead paramedic for Atrium. He no longer works for Atrium.
"He is under administrative leave and under investigation for misconduct,” said Green.
In November, Joshua was on a medical helicopter that was forced to make an emergency landing in an east Charlotte parking lot because of a fire on board.
The cause of the fire has not been released.
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Joshua appeared in court for the first time Friday.
After his wife’s death, he collected $250,000 in life insurance.
People said they were stunned at the victim’s death, and said Stacy and Joshua were high school sweethearts and an ideal family.
“I mean she did not deserve for this to happen to her. She was a great mother. She was a happy person,” said a friend Kelly Kreeger.
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