Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit is probing the death of a man from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug in a Thunder Bay police station cell in July. (Thunder Bay Police) The 50-year-old man, who reportedly died in a Thunder Bay, Ont., police cell on Wednesday July 19, has been identified as Marlon Jerry McKay, known to family and friends as "Roland" of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, confirmed James Cutfeet, the chief of the northwestern Ontario First Nation.
McKay is the second person from the community to die in the past two months, while visiting Thunder Bay for medical reasons, Cutfeet said in a written release Tuesday.
The body of 14-year-old Josiah Begg was pulled from a city river on May 19, 2017. The teenager, along with his father, was also in Thunder Bay to access medical services. McKay in Thunder Bay for medical services
McKay, who was in the city for a health care appointment, went into medical distress at approximately 8 p.m. on July 19, Cutfeet said.
A call was made to 911 and paramedics were dispatched, with the Thunder Bay police arriving soon after. Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Chief James Cutfeet has identified the 50-year-old man who reportedly died at the police station as "Roland" McKay of his community. (Martine Laberge/Radio-Canada) "The paramedics declared the late Marlon McKay medically fit on-site prior to handing him off into the custody of the Thunder Bay police," Cutfeet stated.
Around midnight, McKay, who was now at the Thunder Bay police station, was found "not breathing and unresponsive." He was taken to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre where he was declared dead, said Cutfeet. Cause of death still unknown
A post-mortem was conducted in Toronto, but the cause of death is yet to be determined, Cutfeet said.
The watchdog organization is called in to investigate incidents involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.
Funeral arrangements for McKay will be made once the Chief Coroner’s office releases the body, said Cutfeet.
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