Alleged victim's son's pain inescapable as accused killer Elizabeth Wettlaufer makes brief video court appearance

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Arpad Horvath Jr. was the only family member of the dead to see former nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer’s monthly court formality.

There wasn’t much for him to see.

The son of Arpad Horvath Sr., who died on Aug. 31, 2014, sat Wednesday morning among reporters for the video court appearance that lasted less than five minutes.

He said outside of court that he remained determined to attend all of Wettlaufer’s court appearances, even the most minor.

“Yes, it was worth it, because it’s for my father and I promised I would be here every court appearance for him and I’m here for him and here I am,” he said.

Horvath Jr. said he will be back on March 3 for Wettlaufer’s next scheduled video appearance “to see then what happens.”

Wettlaufer, 49, faces eight charges of first-degree murder, four charges of attempted murder and two charges of aggravated assault, all involving vulnerable people who had been in her care.

She appeared from Milton’s Vanier Centre for Women, where she’s been housed since her arrest in October, dressed in the olive green, jail-issued sweatshirt. All she said was “Elizabeth Wettlaufer” when justice of the peace Michael McMahon asked her to state her name.

Her defence lawyer Brad Burgess told McMahon the Crown has delivered “substantial disclosure” to his office and he is reviewing it.

Seven of the dead were patients at Woodstock’s Caressant Care home, where Wettlaufer had been employed as a nurse. Two patients were named in her attempted murder charges and two more in her aggravated assault charges.

In January, the long-term care home was ordered not to take new patients after a series of investigations revealed problems with abuse, neglect and the administration of medication.

The others named as alleged victims in the remaining attempted murder charges were from Telfer Place in Paris and a private Oxford County residence.

Though police haven’t said how the eight patients died, they confirmed it was through the administration of a drug.

The attempted murder charges laid in January articulated that the alleged victims had been given overdoses of insulin.

Horvath’s father was the lone patient named from Meadow Park nursing home in London.

Last month, his body was one of two exhumed as part of the investigation.

Horvath Jr. said the Crown hasn’t told him or his family why the body was removed.

“They did forensics and I haven’t heard anything about that and they’re just doing their job as best they can and hopefully there will be a good end result,” he said.

His father’s body was removed from St. Peter’s Cemetery on Jan. 24 and reburied on Jan. 27. Horvath Jr. said the entire episode was “devastating and difficult.”

“To have to see my father’s casket again and to have to exhume my father after putting him down to rest, you ask yourself, ‘How would you feel?’

“It’s just surreal and it’s scary and it’s a nightmare I can’t wake up from and a reality I can’t run from.”

There was a short service for the family with a London police chaplain at the reburial of the body, he said.

Seeing Wettlaufer, even on the video screen, “makes me really angry every time.”

“I don’t know. Every time I see her, I’m sick,” he said.