A nurse in Western Pennsylvania was charged on Wednesday with two murder counts for allegedly administering large doses of insulin to her patients, killing two men, said the state's Attorney General Michelle Henry.
Heather Pressdee, 40, was working at Quality Life Services, a nursing facility in Chicora, when she administered insulin shots to a 55-year-old man and an 83-year-old man because she felt their "quality of life was not good," according to a police affidavit.
Pressdee also allegedly administered insulin to a third victim, a 73-year-old man, who survived after emergency hospitalization, said the affidavit.
All three men were her patients, Henry said in a statement posted on social media, and "instead of caring for them she intentionally and maliciously injected them with insulin to kill them."
The first victim, 55, passed away on December 4, 2022, at Butler Memorial Hospital in Butler, Pennsylvania, after being sent to the hospital for critically low blood sugar, the affidavit said. He had been sent earlier in the fall to the hospital but was stabilized and returned to the nursing facility. He returned about a month later on Nov. 20 with very low sugar levels. He died a few weeks later after he didn't recover, and investigators determined he was injected with insulin, according to the affidavit. Investigators said the victim was not diabetic.
The second victim, 83, was "suitemates" with the first victim and their room was connected by a shared bathroom, according to the affidavit. The same night he was also found with a high glucose level and was transported to the same hospital 10 minutes after the first victim, according to the affidavit. His family transported him back to the facility where he died on Dec. 25, 2022. Investigators said that he was a non-insulin dependent diabetic.
On August 31, 2022, the third victim,73, was found seizing in his bed at the nursing facility, according to the affidavit. He was stabilized and sent to another facility.
During all three incidents, Pressdee was working at the nursing facility, the affidavit said.
On May 24, 2023, investigators went to interview Pressdee at her home in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania, where she admitted to giving insulin to the victims, hoping "they would slip into a coma and just pass away," the affidavit said.
Pressdee was also charged with aggravated assault, three counts of neglect of a care-dependent person, and three counts of reckless endangerment, according to the attorney general.
Pressdee is currently being held in Butler County Prison, according to online records.
Investigators said that Pressdee has been employed at 11 different facilities since 2018. They said records showed she had been disciplined for abusive behavior towards either staff or patients, resulting in her either resigning or being terminated.
She was hired at Quality of Life Services on May 23, 2022, and worked there until November 2022. The family-owned health business has ten locations in Pennsylvania that provide hospice care, skilled nursing care, and family home health and personal care, according to its website.
In a statement published by CBS News Pittsburgh, Quality Life Services said it was "shocked and devastated to learn that the charges brought against Ms. Pressdee by the Attorney General's Office include alleged illegal activity that occurred at our QLS – Chicora facility."
"We will continue to fully cooperate with the Attorney General's Office as needed in the investigation and prosecution of this matter. We can assure our community, our residents, our families and our staff that all residents of Quality Life Services - Chicora are safe and are receiving appropriate care and services," the statement continued.
- Nursing Home
Cara Tabachnick is a news editor for CBSNews.com. Contact her at [email protected]
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