The Prince Albert Police Service has released new details from its investigation into the sudden death of a youth last month after being taken into custody.
© Herald photo by Matt Gardner
Sgt. Curtis Halcro of the Prince Albert Police Service speaks at a Tuesday press conference.
The Criminal Investigation Division is still in the process of conducting its official inquiry into the death of the 16-year-old, who had been remanded to the custody of the Prince Albert Youth Residence (PAYR).
While his death does not appear suspicious at this point, police are still awaiting a conclusive assessment.
“We’re all awaiting the reports from the coroner’s office and the results of the autopsy,” Sgt. Curtis Halcro said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Prince Albert police were notified on Thursday, Sept. 19 that the youth was under medical distress, had been transported to hospital by ambulance and later died.
Through their investigation, police learned that members of the Big River detachment of the RCMP had transported the youth to the PAYR on Sept. 12.
The deceased was one of eight youth remanded on three counts of assault and one count of assaulting a probation officer.
“He was arrested in Big River, transported out to PAYR and he made various court appearances,” Halcro said.
“But because the death occurred within our jurisdiction, we were requested to investigate the sudden death.”
The teen made an initial appearance in Prince Albert Provincial Court on Friday, Sept. 13 and was remanded back to PAYR for a future court date (the facility serves as a remand location for youth serving out sentences or waiting to attend court).
We’re all awaiting the reports from the coroner’s office and the results of the autopsy. Sgt. Curtis Halcro
On the following Monday, the youth was taken to a Prince Albert-area medical clinic for unknown medical reasons and later returned to the PAYR.
Two days later, he made another brief court appearance and was again remanded back to PAYR.
Just before midnight on Wednesday, Sept. 18, the youth was transported to hospital, where his condition worsened.
He died early the next day.
“To my knowledge, this is the first youth that has passed away while in custody in the province,” Halcro said.
At this point in the investigation, there is no evidence to suggest that the death was suspicious in any way.
However, police continue to review information concerning the youth’s entire time in custody and the events that led up to his arrest.
A final autopsy report is expected in the near future.
“We should get the autopsy report fairly soon,” Halcro said.
“But of course, being it was an in-custody death, there will be a coroner’s inquest held -- and I suspect that might not be until into the new year sometime where the full coroner’s report would be disclosed.”