A terminally ill Kentucky man has confessed to the 2007 murder of an 86-year-old woman who was living in a nursing facility where he worked as a medical technician, authorities in Louisville announced Tuesday. Another resident also died under similar circumstances, raising questions about a multiple homicide.
David Satterfield, 34, told police that he killed Marcelline Vale by injecting her with insulin, even though she was not diabetic, according to local reports. Satterfield said this occurred on July 4, 2007, when he was working as a certified medical technician at Parkway Medical Center in Louisville, KY.
Satterfield was a temporary worker filling in over the Fourth of July holiday, not a permanent staff member at Parkway, police told reporters. Parkway is a 252-bed, for-profit facility, according to the government’s Nursing Home Compare website.
The listed phone number for Select Nursing Services, the staffing agency that placed Satterfield, was not working as of Tuesday afternoon.
Authorities have not found any wrongdoing on the part of Parkway, and Satterfield had “had a clean record and good references,” Administrator Joe Okruhlica said in a statement emailed to McKnight’s. Parkway hopes Satterfield’s confession will bring “closure” to Vale’s family, he added.
Satterfield had been a person of interest after Vale’s death and the death of another resident, 82-year-old Evelyn Tobbe, according to The Courier-Journal.
While the police “aren’t ruling anything out,” they have not made a connection between Vale’s death and similar incidents, a Louisville Metro Police Department spokeswoman told McKnight’s. She confirmed that the police also do not yet know Satterfield’s motive.
However, at least one Parkway worker had noticed that Satterfield was behaving strangely the day before Vale was found unresponsive, according to a 2007 report on the investigation. The worker said a technician went into Vale’s room, kissed her on the head, and said he loved her — the name of the technician, presumably Satterfield, was redacted when that report was first issued, the Courier-Journal noted.
Satterfield came forward with his confession because he is dying, police said.
“He was broke, no place to live and he had a terminal illness,” LMPD Sgt. Donny Burbrink said at the news conference. “He decided he wanted to come clean and clear his conscience.”
Investigators still are trying to determine whether Satterfield has worked in nursing homes since 2007, according to reports. He currently is being held in a correctional facility, with bond set at $50,000.