A Canadian nurse has been arrested on murder charges accusing her of killing eight elderly patients at Ontario nursing homes from 2007 to 2014.
ELizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer, 49, was arrested Monday night, the CBC reports.
Seven of the patients died at Caressant Care Long Term Care Home in Woodstock and the other patient died at Meadow Park in London, the Toronto Sun reports.
Wettlaufer, a Woodstock resident, is facing eight counts of first-degree murder, police said.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wettlaufer Administered a Lethal Dose of a Drug to the 8 Nursing Home Residents, Police Say
Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer is accused of murdering the eight elderly nursing home residents by “administering a drug,” police said at a press conference.
Investigators would not specify what that drug was. They have also not said if they have established a motive for the killings.
You can watch the police press conference below:
The investigation began September 29 in Woodstock and expanded earlier this month to include London. The probe into the deaths remains open, police said.
The case is being investigated by a joint police team from the Woodstock Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police Criminal Investigation Branch and the London Police Service.
2. She Graduated From Nursing School in 1995 & Began Working at Caressant in 2007
Elizabeth Wettlaufer, who goes by Bethe Wettlaufer on Facebook, lives in Woodstock.
She graduated from London Baptist Bible College in 1991 with a degree in counselling, according to her Linkedin profile. She then graduated from Connestoga College in 1995 with a nursing degree.
Wettlaufer says on Linkedin she worked at the Caressant Care nursing home in Woodstock from 2007 to 2014.
She describes her duties as, “Assessing patients Administering medications. Performing prescribed treatments. Communicating with patients, families and health care professionals. Supervising care staff. Generating and maintaining patient care plans. Updating patient charts. Processing Dr.s orders.”
Wettlaufer also says she worked at the Meadow Park nursing home in London, where the eighth victim died, for less than a year in 2014.
According to her Facebook page, she also worked at Christian Horizons in Woodstock as a support worker from 1996 to 2007. Her Facebook page also lists Lifeguard Homecare as her current employer.
Police said at a press conference Tuesday that Wettlaufer surrendered her license to be a registered nurse when the investigation into the deaths began on September 29. It is not clear if she had been working at the time.
3. The Victims Range in Age From 75 to 96, Police Say
The victims killed at the two nursing homes range in age from 75 to 96, according to Global News.
Police released the names, ages and dates of death for the victims:
- James Silcox, 84: Woodstock, August 17, 2007
- Maurice Granat, 84: Woodstock, December 23, 2007
- Gladys Millard, 87: Woodstock, October 14, 2011
- Helen Matheson, 95: Woodstock, October 27, 2011
- Mary Zurawinski, 96: Woodstock, November 7, 2011
- Helen Young, 90: Woodstock, July 14, 2013
- Maureen Pickering, 79: Woodstock, March 28, 2014
- Arpad Horvath, 75: London, August 31, 2014
It is not clear if there could be other victims. Exhumation of the victims will not be part of the investigation, police said.
4. The Nursing Home Where 7 Residents Were Killed Says They ‘Regret the Additional Grief & Stress This Is Imposing’ on Their Families
Caressant Care, the company that runs the Woodstock Long Term Care Home where seven of the victims died, issued a statement saying they are “cooperating fully” with the investigation into the actions of a former staff member who left the home about two and a half years ago.
“We remain in regular contact with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Our highest priority is to continue to provide for the physical, social and spiritual needs of our residents, and that remains our focus,” Caressant Care said in the statement. “We deeply regret the additional grief and stress this is imposing on the families involved.”
The nursing home company said it could not comment further because it is “determined to avoid compromising the police investigation in any way.”
The Meadow Park nursing home in London, Ontario, where one of the victims was killed has not yet commented on Wettlaufer’s arrest.
Christian Horizons and Lifeguard Homecare, two companies she also listed as her employers, could not be reached for comment.
5. Wettlaufer Appeared in Court to Face the Charges for the First Time Tuesday & Was Remanded Into Custody
Wettlaufer appeared in court Tuesday morning to face the eight counts of first-degree murder she was charged with Monday night, according to City News.
She was remanded into custody.
The investigation is ongoing, police said.