Nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer was the prime suspect when 30 pills of the heavy-duty narcotic Dilaudid went missing from Meadow Park nursing home in London, Ont., in September 2014.

This week, the inquiry into long-term care in Ontario will hear from pharmacists who worked with Meadow Park at the time of the theft. 

The pills went missing on the last day of Wettlaufer’s time on the job. A day or so later, she overdosed and spent time recovering in hospital. 

But both an internal investigation by Meadow Park staff and a police probe couldn’t directly tie the nurse to the theft. 

Wettlaufer quit and said she would get help for an unspecified health problem — though she told some colleagues she had a drug and alcohol addiction. Instead, she took a job with Lifeguard HomeCare, a temp agency for nurses. 

That agency placed her at Telfer Place in Paris, Ont., where she tried to kill a resident. Her interaction with a doctor raised red flags and the temp agency was asked not to send her back. 

This week at the Elgin County courthouse in St. Thomas, the inquiry will also hear from the director of care and executive director of Telfer Place, as well as nurses who worked there. 

Inquiry expected to last until fall

The Public Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System was established on Aug. 1, 2017, after Wettlaufer was sentenced to eight concurrent life terms. It began hearings on June 5, and is examining how Wettlaufer’s crimes went undetected for so long.

Her killing spree began in 2007 and continued until 2016, when she finally confessed to a psychiatrist and a social worker. Until then, her employers, police and Ontario’s licensing body for nurses had no idea eight patients had been murdered and six more poisoned with injections of massive doses of insulin.

The inquiry is scheduled to last until September.