A former nurse charged with eight counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of nursing home patients made a brief court appearance in Woodstock on Wednesday.
Forty-nine-year-old Elizabeth Wettlaufer appeared by video from jail spending about a minute on screen as reporters and members of the public looked on.
Wettlauffer is accused in the deaths of eight patients of Caressant Care in Woodstock and Meadow Park in London between 2007 and 2014.
She was charged last week in the case as a result of an investigation that began on September 29th of this year. She’s been in custody ever since.
Some family members of the alleged victims were in court on Wednesday for Wettlaufer’s appearance, including Andrea Silcox whose father, 84-year-old James Silcox, was the first alleged victim. He died at Caressant Care on August 17th, 2007.
Speaking after the appearance by Wettlaufer, Silcox (pictured at right) said she had suspicions that there was more to her father’s death than met the eye.
“My father was only in the facility for in total eight days, and that just didn’t seem right to me, and my father was a good, strong man, and just because I work in long term care myself, it just didn’t seem right,” Silcox said.
Silcox, who works in long term care, said the family asked the coroner if an autopsy could be performed, but they were denied.
“My sister (…) said that the coroner said ‘He lived in long term care, he was 85-years-old, why bother?'”
Silcox said an autopsy might have revealed evidence relating to her father’s death, but since officials refused to carry out the procedure they’ll never know for sure.
Holding onto her father’s Bible as she spoke with reporters on Wednesday, Silcox explained he was receiving treatment for a broken hip at Woodstock General Hospital before he was transferred to Caressant Care.
She said she never understood his rapid decline.
“He survived a war, he survived so many things,” she said. “He survived his little bit of dementia, he survived the diabetes, he survived everything.”
Wettlaufer’s next court date is November 18th.
With files from Natalie Lovie