A German nurse who used lethal drugs on patients out of “boredom” is responsible for the deaths of 106 people, investigators said Thursday, noting the toll could rise further as more bodies are studied.
Niels Hoegel, 41, was convicted in 2015 of two murders and four counts of attempted murder or causing bodily harm on intensive-care patients at the Delmenhorst hospital near the northern city of Bremen.
But exhumations and analyses since have uncovered evidence of scores of other victims, with police saying in August that Hoegel had murdered more than 90 other patients.
On Thursday, police and prosecutors confirmed an additional 16 deaths, attributed to the nurse who worked at two hospitals between 1999 and 2005.
More deaths may still be uncovered with toxicology studies under way for five other cases, and exhumations of three former patients planned in Turkey.
Investigators have completed toxicological examinations on patients who died during Niels Hoegel’s time as a nurse in hospitals in Oldenburg and Delmenhorst, prosecutors and police in Oldenburg said.
In late August, they said they had determined that he might have killed at least another 84 patients beyond the ones for whose murder he is already serving time. At the time, they said that they were awaiting toxicology results on another 41 fatalities, which have now been concluded.
Prosecutors reiterated in a statement that they expect to file additional charges against Hoegel early next year. Additional convictions could affect Hoegel’s possibility of parole, but there are no consecutive sentences in Germany .During his trial, Hoegel had said he intentionally brought about cardiac crises in some 90 patients in Delmenhorst because he enjoyed the feeling of being able to resuscitate them. He later told investigators that he also killed patients in Oldenburg.
Hoegel worked at the Oldenburg hospital from 1999 to 2002 and in Delmenhorst from 2003 to 2005.