Investigators are checking the history of patients in Hospital San Juan de Dios to see if there is a connection between other deaths and a woman who has been detained on suspicion of killing a neighbor.
Lilliam Arias Prendas, 55, of Desamparados died in the hospital Tuesday after she was visited by a neighbor, Angela Barrantes Moreno, a retired nurse. Ms. Barrantes gained access to the restricted area due to her nurse uniform and an expired identification card.
Agents have a statement from another patient who said that he saw the retired nurse inject something into Ms. Arias. Fuerza Pública officers confiscated a syringe that contained a fluid.
The contents are being examined to determine the chemical makeup, and a full autopsy was done on the dead hospital patient.
Typically patients who die in a hospital are not subjected to an autopsy.
Agents have information that at least one other neighbor died recently at the same hospital, and that Ms. Barrantes was a visitor.
Hospital officials have admitted to a breach of security, and a damage case is expected from the family of the dead woman. Ms. Arias was in ill health, but her family appears to have thought that it was not terminal.
The Poder Judicial said that the defense lawyer for Ms. Barrantes has been given more time to argue against incarceration for her. The first court appearance was Wednesday, but there is another scheduled for today.
If there is a correlation between other deaths and the visits by the retired nurse, prosecutors are expected to argue strongly for preventative detention.