Despite her profound and unconcealed anger, no one suspected that Larissa Schuster had actually put her mind to work on a scheme to be rid of Tim permanently. She enlisted the help of James Fagone, 21, who had worked for Schuster both in the lab and as a babysitter for Tyler, and, he later admitted, had helped Larissa burglarize Tim's condo in August 2002. Fagone would later tell authorities that Larissa asked him to buy a stun gun and zip-ties, but that he hadn't known exactly what she planned to do with them. Larissa then allegedly told Fagone that there were other things Tim had taken when he moved out that didn't belong to him. Fagone would later say he thought they were going to Tim Schuster's house to take back other items that rightfully belonged to Larissa. Larissa allegedly told Fagone that Tim had installed a home security system in his condo since their August burglary, and that they would need to take her things back while Tim was in the condo.
Fagone claimed that Larissa had felt that Tim might offer some resistance. Fagone later admitted that he suggested something he had once seen in a movie and had researched online: using chloroform to knock Tim out. Fagone would later claim he thought they were simply going to rob Tim. He would tell authorities he had no idea how grisly the scheme would become.