(50-year-old Marlon “Roland” Jerry McKay died in a Thunder Bay police cell Wednesday. Photo courtesy of the family)
APTN National News
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is investigating the death Marlon “Roland” Jerry McKay, 50, who was being held in a Thunder Bay jail cell Wednesday night.
The family has confirmed that McKay, from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, was in the city for medical reasons.
According to the SIU statement, Thunder Bay police officers responded to a call at an address on Fort William Road around 7:45 pm on Wednesday.
It’s not clear why McKay became involved with Thunder Bay police but the SIU statement said it was “to deal with an individual.”
Emergency medical personnel were also present and medically cleared McKay.
McKay was taken to the Thunder Bay police station where he was lodged in a cell.
Shortly after midnight, police found him in the cell not breathing.
McKay was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:30 am.
McKay’s mother was notified of her son’s death by a doctor from the hospital a family member told APTN.
According to the family, the autopsy will be completed Thursday. They also said the coroner told them a heart attack has been ruled out as a cause of death.
Read the release here: SIU
McKay’s sister Celia Echum, traveled to Thunder Bay after she received the news from their mother.
“I feel like there’s a void,” said Echum. “No answers from anyone right now,” Echum said through a private Facebook message on Thursday afternoon.
McKay’s mother and other family members are expected to arrive in Thunder Bay on Friday from KI.
Four investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to the incident.
The SIU investigates any interaction between the public and police when there is a death, serious injury, or sexual assault allegations against officers.
The SIU is urging anyone who may have information about the investigation to contact the agency.
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