A coroner's inquest has been ordered to examine the death of a Cornwall man five years after he swallowed a drug-filled plastic egg in an Ottawa jail.

Gregory Ingram obituary Ottawa choking inquest

Gregory Ingram, 33, died after choking while in custody at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre in June 2009. (obitsforlife.com)

Gregory Ingram, a 33-year-old father of two girls, was in custody at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre on June 24, 2009, when he choked.

He had swallowed a plastic egg filled with drugs in an attempt to conceal it from a passing guard, said his mother, Jeanne Ingram, by phone on Wednesday.

Gregory Ingram had been arrested at his mother's home in Cornwall, Ont., weeks earlier, and was facing drug charges.

He was pronounced dead at The Ottawa Hospital's General campus after being transferred there from jail following the choking incident. His family made the decision to take him off life support after the oxygen supply to his brain had been cut off.

'I want to know what happened,' mother says

"I want to know what happened," said Jeanne Ingram, who pleaded guilty to drug charges after she was arrested along with her son. She served several months in custody at OCDC.

"It was really hard because he was closest to me. I don't know how to say it. We were close, and it was hard. ... I still don't forget. I still remember things," she said.

Coroner's inquests are mandatory for people who die while they're in custody.

Louise McNaughton-Filion, the east region supervising coroner, said Wednesday that she couldn't comment on the specifics of the case, or why it took five years to announce the mandatory inquest.

"Sometimes investigations are very complex. ... We do try to have our inquests much more quickly, but this one was longer than expected," McNaughton-Filion said.

A date for the public inquest, which looks into the manner of death and does not assign blame, has not yet been set.