Are seniors missing from a retirement home in Ontario being killed?
The Ontario Provincial Police are now treating as homicides four cases of missing seniors from the same seniors’ housing complex some twenty years ago.
The ‘Inspector Rob Matthews said that the former owners of three adjacent nursing homes, located in the Muskoka region in central Ontario were now considered “persons of interest” in relation to the disappearance of four the elderly.
The owners had already been charged with fraud, Matthews said in a phone interview, but did not elaborate. The inspector nevertheless indicated that it was the fraud investigation that had put him on the trail of missing seniors.
Joan Lawrence, who was 77 years old at the time, disappeared from this retirement home in 1998. Between 1997 and 1999, John Semple (91), John Crofts (72) and Ralph Grant (73) also disappeared from the same complex. Mr. Matthews believes that these four elderly people have died, but their remains have never been found.
Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, Paul Beesley, claimed that the police had made a lot of progress in his investigation and that it was hoped that the case would be resolved to help the family turn the page. twenty years after the disappearances.
Retirement homes – which no longer exist – belonged to four brothers and sisters, who had not cooperated with the police at all during the fraud investigation, Inspector Matthews said. Both houses and the adjacent farm building housed vulnerable seniors who were no longer in touch with their families in the late 1990s.
The police regularly received complaints about the treatment of seniors. According to Mr. Matthews, the investigators had learned that residents were escaping from the retirement home at night and going to homeless shelters in Toronto or Ottawa. Police also investigated how homeowners collected rents, Inspector Matthews said.
One of the alleged victims, Joan Lawrence, lived for two years in a small shed on the farm with so many cats “we could not count them,” says the inspector. The owners claimed him a rent of $ 600 a month.