It isn’t just the Woodstock community that is struggling to process the shocking news, so are friends of Elizabeth Wettlaufer.
The 49-year-old made her first court appearance Monday night after she was charged with eight counts of first-degree murder.
Friend Nancy Gilbert described Wettlaufer as happy-go-lucky.
“She was very friendly, very happy lately, she owned two cats and a dog,” she said. “She met all kinds of great people, she just really, really enjoyed what she did.”
Woodstock’s Mayor, Trevor Birtch spoke with AM980 and said their hearts go out to the families of the alleged victims.
He also made it clear they support those who work in long term care.
“These allegations do not tarnish the good and respectable work of all of the health care professionals in our nursing and retirement homes and I confey my thanks and support to those people who dedicate themselves each day to taking care of our loved ones,” said Birtch. “As Mayor, I’m very proud of all of the individuals involved in working through this misfortune together as a community.”
Birtch said they have supports in place to help all those impacted by the case.
“I want to assure them that the community has supports in place that are going to work together to help them get through this process,” he said.
Below is a news release issued by Woodstock Police on Tuesday:
Woodstock City Police Chief William Renton assures the community that Woodstock will continue to heal and move forward from the recent series of serious crimes that have profoundly affected the community.
Today’s news of the eight deaths at the hands of an alleged murder was a devastating blow to the community and all our hearts go out to the families of the victims who were murdered. We need to focus on the future of our City and come together as a community to support one another.
We only need to look no further than yesterday when the Supreme Court turned down the appeal of Tori Stafford’s killer to have a new trial. The tide is changing and our City will prevail this latest incident.
We need to come together to instill confidence and in our long-term care facilities. The actions of one person do not define the excellence found in our community. Nor are the actions reflective of the hundreds of professional RN’s, RNA’s, PSW’s or other workers who provide excellent health services to our friends, family and loved ones.
Moving forward we will continue to work with our community partners such as Oxford County Elder Abuse and Neglect Committee (O.C.E.A.N.) who continue to advocate for the concerns of the elderly in our community. We will work together to promote Crime Prevention programs already in place and to find new ways to help instill trust and confidence in our long-term care institutions for those who are currently using or will need these services in the future.
There are many resources available for those affected by this incident or any of the past that have befallen our community. Victims of this recent tragedy have already been offered VASOC services which provide confidential emotional and practical help during these times.
This free service is available to anyone by calling 519-537-2824 x10. Additionally Reach Out is the new 24/7 crisis and support line for people living with addictions and mental health needs as well as their families, caregivers and health care providers. The phone number is 519-433-2023 or toll free is 1-866-933-2023. www.reachout247/ca.
“We will heal. We will move forward! “- Woodstock City Police Chief Renton.
Renton reiterates his sympathy and condolences to family, friends and residents of Woodstock who have all been affected.