Source: Info from accused nurse led to murder probe

TORONTO (AP) " A nurse charged in the deaths of eight nursing home residents made incriminating remarks while she was being treated for her addiction at a Toronto clinic, a police source said Wednesday.

The official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about the ongoing investigation, said Wednesday that Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer made comments to staff at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Staff contacted Toronto police who informed their counterparts in Woodstock, Ontario.

Wettlaufer, 49, of Woodstock was charged Tuesday with eight counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of elderly residents at two nursing homes in Woodstock, and London, Ontario. Police said she gave the victims a drug but declined to say what drug. The murders are alleged to have taken place between 2007 and 2014. It could be one of the worst serial-killer cases in Canadian history.

Police arrested Wettlaufer on Monday. She's due back in court Nov. 2 after a brief appearance Tuesday where she was remanded into custody.

Wettlaufer 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.

Wettlaufer was also employed at the Meadow Park facility in London, where Horvath died.

Records from the College of Nurses of Ontario show Wettlaufer was first registered as a nurse in August 1995 but resigned on Sept. 30.

The Centre of Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto declined to comment, saying they do not disclose information about their clients due to patient confidentiality.

However, Wettlaufer agreed to bail conditions earlier this month that required her to "continue any treatment for mental health" with any physician to whom she was referred by her family doctor or "representatives of CAMH."

Wettlaufer was also not allowed to possess or consume alcohol and had to obey a curfew and reside in either her apartment or with her parents in Woodstock between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., except to attend alcoholics anonymous meetings, according to terms laid out in court.

Wettlaufer's Facebook page makes reference to what appears to be a struggle with substance abuse.

"My own voice called to me in the darkness. Others hands lifted me when I chose the light. One year ago today I woke up not dead. 365 days clean and sober," says a post from September 2015.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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