Another inmate has died after a stint in the Winnipeg Remand Centre — the fifth such case since March.
Robert McAdam, 53, was in the Winnipeg Remand Centre on Sept. 4 of this year after being picked up for breaching a court order. Later the same day, he was found unresponsive and taken to the Health Sciences Centre, said Sheila McAdam, Robert's sister.
"They said because he drank something and they're pretty sure it was some kind of antifreeze," she said, wondering if he should have been taken to hospital first.
Another sister, Colleen Hogue, said her siblings found a bottle of antifreeze in Robert's home and a cup with some still in it.
McAdam said she doesn't have a lot of details about how he died or what happened leading up to his death, including how long he was unconscious.
Sheila hadn't spoken to her brother in two months was surprised to get a call on Sept. 4 that Robert was in hospital in critical condition. He had been struggling with alcoholism and had been taken to the hospital in the past for threatening to take his own life. Hogue said the family has reason to believe Robert drank the antifreeze to take his own life. She said he had done that once before.
"It broke my heart," she said about seeing him in the hospital. "He looked like he was sleeping, but very peacefully, but he had a big tube coming out of his mouth and bags hanging off of him."
A spokesperson for Manitoba Justice confirms a man in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre died in hospital on September 6.
CBC news has learned of four other deaths in the remand since March. This latest brings the total to five.
- March 17 - Hollie Hall was in the remand centre for about a month when she got sick with flu-like symptoms. She was taken to hospital when her condition worsened and that's where she died.
- May 1 - Errol Greene was in the remand centre but later died in hospital. His wife said he went into an epileptic seizure and was denied his medication in custody.
- Sept. 6 - Robert McAdam died in hospital. He was in the remand centre on Sept. 4 when he was found unresponsive.
- Oct. 12 - Russell Spence died after an altercation during the processing at the Winnipeg Remand Centre. The province's Independent Investigation Unit is investigating. It's not clear if Spence had an alteration with a guard or a police officer.
- Oct. 25 - Province confirms an inmate died after being taken to hospital in serious condition. No other information about the inmate or the circumstances was provided.
A provincial spokesperson said Manitoba Corrections is conducting an internal review and McAdam's death was reported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The following statement was issued Friday on behalf of Heather Stefanson, Manitoba's minister of justice.
"Every one of these deaths is a tragedy for the family and loved ones of the deceased, as well as the staff of the Winnipeg Remand Centre.
"While individual reviews follow each individual death, the clustering of these events requires a broader review and assessment that may not be captured in individual reviews where each is looked at in the context of its own circumstance.
"I have asked the Community Safety Division to conduct a systematic assessment to determine if there are common themes to these tragic events that need to be addressed."