REGINA — A coroner’s jury has ruled the cause of death of a Regina woman found unresponsive at the bottom of a laundry chute at a downtown hotel as undetermined.
The jury of three men and three women deliberated for five hours at the inquest into the death of Nadine Machiskinic.
Machiskinic, who was 29, was found unresponsive at the bottom of a laundry chute at the Delta Hotel in January 2015, and was later pronounced dead in hospital.
The jury made just one recommendation — that laundry chutes in hotels should always be kept locked and only ever be accessible to staff.
Machiskinic’s family has questioned how she fit through the opening of the laundry chute, which was only 53 centimetres wide, and why it took police 60 hours to launch an investigation.
The inquest, which began Monday, heard blood tests showed Machiskinic had alcohol and a mix of methadone and three other drugs in her system, as well as high levels of sleeping medication.
An empty bottle of prescription sleeping pills was found along with her body.
Toxicology expert Chris Keddy testified that because Machiskinic was a long-time drug user and had a high tolerance, she would have still been mobile and capable of climbing into the laundry chute on her own.
The inquest also heard testimony from Delta Hotel employee Manjit Singh, who said he sent security to investigate a fire alarm that was sounding on the 10th floor. A short time later, he said, paramedics arrived and he followed them downstairs to the laundry room, where he saw Machiskinic laying on the floor.
Former Saskatchewan chief coroner Kent Stewart told the inquest that Machiskinic’s death was not immediately recognized as an incident that warranted police investigation.
Stewart said police were called later after injuries not consistent with an overdose death were found on Machiskinic’s body.