A male nurse has been arrested on suspicion of killing up to 24 coronavirus patients at a hospital in the Netherlands, officials and relatives say. Only few details have been released.
The suspect, 30-year-old Theo V., worked at the lung ward at Wilhelmina Hospital in Assen, a small city in the northern part of the country. He was hired as a nurse just a few months before the pandemic began.
The Public Prosecution Service revealed on Thursday that the nurse was arrested earlier this week “on suspicion of being involved in the deaths of patients at Wilhelmina Hospital.” He remains in custody.
Prosecutors declined to provide details about the number of patients involved, but a relative of a patient was told by police that at least 24 deaths are being investigated. All were being treated for COVID-19.
“We asked of course how this happened, how this man was able to do this, but they can’t say anything about this yet,” a man whose father died in April 2020 told the AD newspaper. “It’s not yet certain that this man killed my father, but the fact that it’s being investigated shows that something is wrong.”
The investigation appears to be focused on the period from March 2020 to May 2022.
It’s not the first time a nurse has been accused of killing patients. In neighboring Germany, nurse Niels Högel confessed to killing dozens of patients out of boredom and for thrill. He was convicted of 85 murders, making him one of the most prolific serial killers in modern history.