03/26/2013 10:46 am ET

Virginia Soares De Souza, Brazilian Doctor, Suspected Of Killing Nearly 300 Patients To Free Up Beds

A doctor is suspected of intentionally killing close to 300 patients to free up hospital beds at Hospital Evangelico in Curitiba, Brazil.

The Mirror reports that Virginia Soares de Souza was initially arrested last month for "administering fatal doses of a muscle relaxant or cutting off patients' life support" in seven cases, but that number skyrocketed after investigators started noticing a similar pattern of deaths in the hospital.

Dr. Mario Lobato, who is leading the investigation, reportedly told Brazil's Fantastico TV that de Souza "played God" by deciding which patients she would kill.

"There are 20 cases which have already been closed, and we have nearly 300 cases still open which we are looking at," Lobato said, according to the Daily Mail. "In each case, the testimony of people who worked inside the hospital confirmed what we have found on the patient records."

Some of the patients, Lobato said, died moments after being conscious and talking.

De Souza's lawyer, Elias Mattar Assad, has maintained his client's innocence.

If the allegations turn out to be true, it would mean de Souza could become the deadliest serial killer in history.

That distinction currently belongs to another doctor, this one of British descent, Harold Shipman.

Shipman reportedly killed between 215 and 260 people before he was convicted in 2000 of killing "15 patients while working in Hyde, Greater Manchester," according to the BBC. He hanged himself in prison in 2004.

Infamous Serial Killers