Inquest into botched 911 reply to begin next month

Ontario's chief coroner has announced an inquest into the death of Kathryn Missen, whose lifeless body was found in her Casselman, Ont., home two days after she called 911, will begin next month.

Kathryn Missen's lifeless body found 2 days after she called emergency line

An Ontario Provincial Police officer was demoted to second-class constable for two years after pleading guilty to neglect of duty in the death of 54-year-old Kathryn Missen.

A coroner's inquest will begin next month into the death of a Casselman, Ont., woman whose lifeless body was found in her home two days after she called 911.

Kathryn Missen, 54, was in medical distress and was unable to speak when she dialled 911 on the afternoon of  Sept. 1, 2014, her family said at the time.

Ontario Provincial Police Const. David Dionne was sent to the home after being told by the dispatcher that no voices were heard during the 911 call, and that there was trouble on the phone line.

When the dispatcher contacted Dionne nine hours later the police officer cleared the call, saying there was no further action required.

Missen was found dead in her home two days later. Dionne was later demoted to second-class constable for two years after pleading guilty at a disciplinary hearing to two counts of neglect of duty.

Joint inquest

The hearing into Missen's death will be part a joint inquest also exploring the response to a 2013 boat crash near Sudbury, Ont., that killed three people.

The joint inquiry will "provide an opportunity to enhance understanding of the 911 communications system and the coordination of emergency responders," Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services said Friday in a media release.

"While the circumstances of these two incidents are different, the commonality shared among the four deaths concerns Ontario's 911 communications system," the ministry said.

The 15-day inquiry is expected to hear from 38 witnesses. The Ottawa portion of the inquiry will take place from Oct. 22 to Nov. 2.