Kitchener-Waterloo

Coroner's inquest announced into death of Grand Valley inmate Terry Baker

Ontario has announced there will be an inquest into the death of Terry Baker, a former inmate at the Grand Valley Institution for Women, who was found unresponsive in her cell "with apparently a ligature around her neck" the night of July 4, 2016.

'We want the inquest to properly show what happened to Ms. Baker,' said coroner's office

The regional supervising coroner for inquests said the date for the inquest is not set yet, but it likely will be 'months away.' (Colin Perkel/Canadian Press)

A coroner's inquest has been announced to investigate the death of Terry Baker, a former inmate at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, who was found unresponsive in her cell in July 2016.

Dr. David Eden, the regional supervising coroner for inquests, announced Tuesday afternoon the investigation will examine the events surrounding her death, which is mandatory under the Coroners Act.

"Every death of an inmate is investigated," he told CBC News, "And then it's a mandatory inquest if the inmate may not have died of natural causes."

Baker was 30 when she died after she was transferred to St. Mary's Hospital in Kitchener from the prison. In an interview with Kim Pate last year, who spoke for the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, she said Baker was found "with apparently a ligature around her neck" the night of July 4, 2016.

Baker had been serving a sentence for the first-degree murder, for her role in helping torture and murder Orangeville teen Robbie McLennan, since January 2006.

Inquest still months away

Eden told CBC News inquest jury may make recommendations aimed to prevent similar deaths in the future, but will not make findings as to "whether anybody was to blame."

"We want the inquest to properly show what happened to Ms. Baker, and what can we learn so another family doesn't face a similar loss, that's really what it comes down to at the end."

He said the date and location of the inquest will be announced later, but it'll be "months away."

"Unfortunately it takes a while, but our focus is on having a quality inquest, where at the end of it, people can say that the facts of death were properly inquired into, and jury had the opportunity to make all preventative recommendations they could arising from these facts," said Eden.