TORONTO (AP) – A nurse has been charged with the murders of eight elderly people under her care at nursing homes in southwestern Ontario over a seven-year period, police said Tuesday.
Woodstock Police Chief William Renton said Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer, 49, was charged with first-degree murder in the killings that took place between 2007 and 2014.
“The victims were administered a drug. We’re not in a position at this time to comment further on the specifics of the drug as it forms part of the evidence that is now before the courts,” Ontario Provincial Police detective Dave Truax said.
Truax would only say that a number of drugs were stored and accessible in the nursing homes where the suspect worked.
Police said they were first alerted to the deaths on Sept. 29 and arrested Wettlaufer on Monday. They said she appeared in court Tuesday morning and was remanded into custody until Nov. 2.
Wettlaufer, of Woodstock, was employed by Caressant Care Nursing and Retirement Homes, which operates 15 facilities in small Ontario towns.
Police said seven of the victims died at a Caressant nursing home in Woodstock, a community of 37,000 people about halfway between London and Hamilton, Ontario.
The victims were identified as James Silcox, 84; Maurice Granat, 84; Gladys Millard, 87; Helen Matheson, 95; Mary Zurawinski, 96; Helen Young, 90; Maureen Pickering, 79, and Arpad Horvath, 75.