A Greek prosecutor on Thursday launched an investigation into the deaths of 68 elderly residents of a care home at Chania, Crete who died within a period of 12 months.
Authorities have already exhumed the body of an elderly woman, who passed away 11 months ago, to forensically examine the cause of her death.
The exhumation took place in a village of Kissamos, following an order from the prosecutor. Medical representatives from both the family and the care home were present.
The investigation has spread throughout the island of Crete, as police examine death registries to identify other elderly people who had stayed in that specific institution.
Relatives of the 68 deceased are calling for a thorough investigation. They say they were told their loved ones died of heart failure, but they suspect some foul play.
The care home, which has not yet been named, denies any wrong-doing.
It issued a statement through its attorney claiming that everything has been done properly. It refutes suggestions of neglect and a cover-up to hide the spread of coronavirus within the premises.
According to a report in protothema.gr, the authorities’ investigations are focused on the possibility that a criminal ring may be behind the deaths.
The report, based on police sources in Crete, claims that the elderly were ill-treated and deprived of their medication at the care home with the ultimate aim of signing away their assets — in particular their real estate.
The care home expressed surprise and anger at the report which it says provides no evidence whatsoever.