A nurse who worked with elderly nursing home residents has been charged with killing eight people over the course of seven years.
The nurse is said to have murdered the eight elderly residents at homes in Ontario.
Elizabeth Tracy Mae Wettlaufer, 49, is facing charges of first-degree murder for the killings which are alleged to have happened from 2007 to 2014.
While police say her victims died because of being given medication, investigations are still continuing.
Ontario Provincial Police detective Dave Truax said: “”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.”
He would not expand on which drugs were used, but explained that medication was stored at nursing homes where Wettlaufer would have had access to it.
Police were tipped off about the murders at the end of September this year, and carried out investigations before arresting the nurse this week.
She has now had a first court appearance and has been remanded to remain in custody until she awaits the next court date.
Investigations are still continuing in the meantime, and police have not ruled out bringing further charges against her.
Officers refused to speculate on what the motive might have been for the killings.
It is also not known whether Wettlaufer has yet appointed a lawyer.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne described the deaths as “distressing and tragic” for all of the families who have lost loved ones. However, she moved to reassure other care home residents and families that there was now no threat to anyone’s safety.
Wettlaufer, who lived in the Woodstock area, was employed by the Caressant Care Nursing and Retirement Homes company, which owns and operates 15 care homes across small towns in Ontario.
Seven of the victims died at one home, the Caressant nursing home in Woodstock, which is a community of just 37,000 people, and sits around half way between London and Hamilton in Ontario.
The victims have been 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.
The accused nurse also worked at the Meadow Park facility, which is in nearby London and was where Mr Horvath died. His daughter Susan Horvath has said she believed something was wrong before her father’s death, but she had been unable to put her finger on what it was.