Nurse charged in eight patient deaths at Woodstock and London long-term care facilities

Oct 25, 2016

A 49-year-old woman who worked as a nurse at long-term care facilities in Woodstock and London has been charged with eight counts of first degree murder following a multi-jurisdiction homicide investigation.

The investigation began on Sept. 29, when the Woodstock Police Service received information that eight people had been murdered between 2007 and 2014.

Due to the nature of the allegations, a multi-jurisdictional major case manager was contacted.

Ontario police provide an update into a 'multi-jurisdiction' death investigation believed to be related to the actions of a former registered nurse in a long-term-care facility on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016.

Det. Inspector Rob Hagerman of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch was assigned to coordinate the investigation by members of the Woodstock Police Service and London Police Service.

Police say the victims were administered a drug. Investigators would not comment on which drug specifically and or a possible motive.

A nurse employed at the facilities, 49-year-old Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer of Woodstock, is charged with eight counts of first degree murder.

The accused appeared at the Ontario Court of Justice in Woodstock on Oct. 25 and was remanded into custody.

Police say the names of the victims, their age, and their respective care facility are:

James Silcox, 84, Caressant Care – Woodstock, Aug. 17, 2007

Maurice Granat, 84, Caressant Care - Woodstock, Dec. 23, 2007

Gladys Millard, 87, Caressant Care - Woodstock, Oct. 14, 2011

Helen Matheson, 95, Caressant Care - Woodstock, Oct. 27, 2011

Mary Zurawinski, 96, Caressant Care - Woodstock, Nov. 7, 2011

Helen Young, 90, Caressant Care - Woodstock, July 14, 2013

Maureen Pickering ,79, Caressant Care - Woodstock, March 28, 2014

Arpad Horvath, 75, Meadow Park - London, August 31, 2014

Nursing home operator Caressant Care issued a statement Tuesday morning saying they are fully cooperating with the investigation.

"We remain in regular contact with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care," said the statement. "Our highest priority is to continue to provide for the physical, social and spiritual needs of our residents, and that remains our focus. We deeply regret the additional grief and stress this is imposing on the families involved."

Caressant Care operates 15 nursing homes across the province.

Police say there is no further immediate threat to patient or community safety.

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