An 18-year-old mother of two toddlers from Port Alberni, B.C., has died while in police custody.
The B.C. Coroners Service says Jocelyn Nynah Marsha George was taken into custody and put in an RCMP cell in Port Alberni on June 23.
George was taken to Westcoast General Hospital the next morning after she was found “in need of medical attention” in her cell, according to the coroners service.
She was then sent to Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital by air ambulance, “where she died later that evening.”
“She was too young to say goodbye,” said Christopher Cenmane, the father of her four-month-old girl.
“I will always love her. I will always have her living in my heart. She is young, beautiful, smart. She will always be my love.”
Cenmane said he and George separated a month ago. She also leaves behind a three-year-old boy.
The coroners service said its investigation is in the “very preliminary” stages.
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C., a civilian-led organization tasked with probing police-related incidents involving death or serious harm, is also investigating.
“The initial focus of the IIO investigation is to see if there is any connection between police action or inaction and the death of the youth,” said IIO spokesman Marten Youssef.