A former nurse is facing multiple charges of murder and attempted murder, as Pennsylvania authorities allege she deliberately injected lethal doses of insulin into patients at various healthcare facilities. Heather Pressdee, 41, of Natrona Heights, was arrested in May for the murder of two patients and has now confessed to attempting to take the lives of 19 others.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office detailed that Pressdee administered insulin to 19 additional patients, resulting in 17 deaths during her tenure as a registered nurse. These incidents took place across five different nursing homes since 2020, including Concordia at Rebecca Residence; Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation; Quality Life Services Chicora; Premier Armstrong Rehabilitation and Nursing Center; and Sunnyview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
Pressdee, who previously worked as a veterinary technician assisting in euthanizing animals, is accused of exploiting her access to medication carts during night shifts to administer the insulin. Her methods allegedly included ensuring patients would not survive until the next shift, avoiding hospital transfers where her actions might be uncovered. In some cases, if Pressdee believed a patient would recover from an insulin overdose, she would reportedly administer a second dose or inject air to induce death.
The investigation revealed troubling evidence from Pressdee’s cellphone, uncovering an apparent preoccupation with death. She sent text messages to her mother describing aggressive thoughts toward patients and others, indicating a broader violent inclination.
Concerns were first raised at Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation, where staff noticed a pattern of patient deaths correlating with Pressdee’s shifts. An internal probe at the facility failed to substantiate these suspicions, despite five patients dying under her care within ten months.
As the case unfolded, Pressdee’s nursing license was suspended in July 2023. She faces two counts of first-degree murder, 17 counts of attempted murder, and 19 counts of neglect of a care-dependent person. The victims’ ages span from 43 to 104.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry expressed the gravity of the situation, stating, “It is hard to comprehend how a nurse, trusted to care for her patients, could choose to deliberately and systematically harm them.” She emphasized the profound impact on the victims and their families and reassured the public of her office’s commitment to justice.
Pressdee was arraigned without the option of bail and remains in custody at Butler County Prison. The Attorney General has urged anyone with information to contact their tip line at 888-538-8541.