Beverly Elanik, Inuvik woman who died in RCMP custody, died of natural causes, inquest finds

A coroner's inquest into the January 2016 death of Beverly Elanik has found that the 51-year-old Inuvik woman died of natural causes.

Elanik collapsed while being processed by RCMP after being arrested while intoxicated, later died at hospital

An undated photo of Beverly Elanik. Elanik was a mother of five who died while incarcerated at the Inuvik RCMP detachment on Jan. 10, 2016. (submitted by Miranda Kowana)

A coroner's inquest into the January 2016 death of Beverly Elanik has found that the 51-year-old Inuvik woman died of natural causes. The inquest was ordered in September.

In January, 2016, Elanik was arrested by RCMP, who said it was believed she was intoxicated at the time of her arrest. She was taken to the hospital for a medical assessment, where medical staff said she was fit to be incarcerated. RCMP then took her to the detachment to sober up.

The following day, Elanik was being processed to leave when she collapsed. She was escorted by police to the Inuvik hospital, where she died.

Six jurors heard testimony during the inquest, which was held in late September. According to their report, released on October 6, chronic alcohol abuse and heart problems played a role in her death. 

Elanik's family have consistently maintained there was no wrongdoing by police in her death, and say they support the recommendations of jurors.

In their report, the jurors recommended increased availability of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices in public buildings, as well as increased training.

They also recommended that community and government organizations "work together to fund and support homeless and under housed individuals, including individuals who may be intoxicated."

With files from Kate Kyle