An Italian nurse reportedly murdered his doctor girlfriend, claiming that he did so because he believed she gave him COVID-19. The couple worked in the same hospital.

The man, Antonio De Pace, strangled his partner, Lorena Quaranta, the New York Post reports. De Pace then called the police to confess what he’d done. When investigators showed up at their apartment, they found Quaranta dead and De Pace on the floor with his wrists cut.

“I killed her because she gave me coronavirus,” De Pace told authorities. The 28-year-old was taken to the hospital where they worked. When he and Quaranta's coronavirus tests came back negative, prosecutors deemed De Pace’s allegations to be “nonsense.”

The couple worked on the front lines of the pandemic at a Sicilian hospital, in a country that has been hit the hardest by the virus. “She was a doctor who was working hard to save others. It's such a tragedy,” a police source told The Sun.

The 27-year-old doctor had recently graduated from medical school and had been sharing her experience as a healthcare worker during the pandemic: “Now more than ever we need to demonstrate responsibility and love for life,” she wrote online. “You must show respect for yourselves, your families and the country. You must think and remember those that dedicate their lives daily to looking after our sick. Let's stick together everyone staying at home. Let's avoid the next one falling sick is a loved one or ourselves.”