DETECTIVES investigating the deaths of two nursing home residents have confirmed they are treating it as a double murder investigation.
But Strike Force Correa investigators have yet to identify solid suspects in the insulin injection deaths of Gwen Fowler, 83, and Ryan Kelly, 80.
The victims, along with 91-year-old Audrey Manuel, were injected with high amounts of insulin at the SummitCare Wallsend facility last month. None were diabetic.
The injections, which police say were deliberate acts, caused each of the victims to become hypoglaeycemic.
Mrs Fowler died on October 18, while Mr Kelly succumbed on October 30.
Mrs Manuel is continuing her recovery.
All three had been injected within a day of each other.
Strike Force Correa commander, Detective Sergeant Matthew Faber, said investigators were continuing to pore over security footage of the nursing home to identify everyone who had access to the facility.
With about 120 staff and an unknown number of visitors who needed to be independently identified, he expected that process to continue for several weeks.
‘‘While all scenarios are being explored investigations to this point have led investigators to form the firm belief that these are deliberate acts and therefore it is being treated as a homicide investigation,’’ Detective Sergeant Faber said.
The statement is the first time police have confirmed their suspicions that a killer was deliberately injecting the patients.
He also confirmed that detectives were also continuing to interview relevant staff and visitors.
They were ‘‘meticulously’’ constructing a timeline to narrow in on potential suspects, he said.
But they were not prepared to be ‘‘drawn on whether or not potential suspects have been identified at this time or the possible motives behind these acts’’.
The strike force was also focusing on the acts on the three known victims and had not had an opportunity to review other deaths that may be linked.