Additional charges have been laid against a former nurse accused of killing eight seniors in two long-term care homes in southwestern Ontario.
In addition to eight counts of first degree murder laid last fall, Elizabeth Wettlaufer also faces four counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault, in relation to people in her care.
She appeared briefly in a Woodstock courtroom Friday morning and was remanded into custody. Her next court date has been scheduled for February 15th.
Elizabeth Wettlaufer has arrived at the Woodstock Courthouse. Hearing to begin shortly. pic.twitter.com/zlLiSnwknf
— AM980 London News (@AM980News) January 13, 2017
Wettlaufer is charged with aggravated assault against Albina Demedeiros, 90, and Coltilde Adriano, 87, and attempted murder against Wayne Hedges, 57, and Michael Priddle, 63. The four were residents of Caressant Care in Woodstock. Wettlaufer worked at the facility from June 2007 to March 2014, according to her LinkedIn profile.
She is also charged with attempted murder against Sandra Towler, 77, at Telfer Place in Brant County, and attempted murder against Beverly Bertram, 68, at a private residence in Oxford County.
Four of the six victims — Adriano, Demedeiro, Hedges, and Priddle — have since died although their confirmed causes of death are not attributed to the accused, according to OPP.
Wettlaufer was charged last October with eight counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of residents at nursing homes in Woodstock and London. Police alleged the 49-year-old used drugs to kill the seniors while she worked at the facilities between 2007 and 2014.
The latest charges are related to incidents that allegedly occurred between June 2007 and August 2016. Court documents accuse Wettlaufer of injecting the six new alleged victims with insulin.
Outside the courthouse, Laura Jackson, a friend of alleged murder victim Maurice Granat, called on the province to open an inquest into the deaths.
“All of the nursing homes that she worked in, I mean, this was not something that happened here and there, this is something that systemically happened over a ten year period in at least two nursing homes,” Jackson said. “Something needs to be done somewhere along the lines of scanning, hiring practices, psychological interviews, something.”
Both the son and daughter of alleged murder victim Arpad Horvath made the trip to Woodstock for Wettlaufer’s court appearance.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Arpad Horvath Jr. said he didn’t see any sign of regret or remorse from Wettlaufer when she came into court.
“There’s gotta be something wrong to do that, because no one in this world should be able to play god,” he said. “My father didn’t go on his own terms, and neither did these other people, and they didn’t deserve it.”
“I feel no remorse for her,” said daughter Susan Horvath. “I think she’s self-destructive, if indeed she is guilty, and I think she deserves what’s coming to her.”
Sgt. Dave Rektor said he couldn’t speculate on whether any further charges were possible, and called the investigation challenging.
“It’s a very intense investigation, and obviously there’s still a lot more questions than answers, but it’s an ongoing investigation, and it’s one that all the services are jointly looking at and working together,” he said.
“We’ll just follow the evidence, take it to where it leads us. We still encourage people, if they have information, to report it to Woodstock Police and we’ll continue with the investigation.”
Anyone with further information about this case is encouraged to contact the Woodstock Police Service at 1-519-537-2323 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).