Dead Bowden inmate identified

A Medicine Hat father who sexually assaulted and murdered his 15-year-old daughter has been found dead in his Bowden Institution prison cell.

A Medicine Hat father who sexually assaulted and murdered his 15-year-old daughter has been found dead in his Bowden Institution prison cell.

Prison staff found Gerald Mayhew’s body about 1:40 p.m. on Sunday.

The cause of death has not been determined, but there were no signs of foul play, say prison officials.

The 51-year-old had been serving a life sentence for second-degree murder since July 22, 1998.

The sentence included no parole eligibility for 14 years, a term he later fought unsuccessfully in order to have reduced.

Mayhew was convicted after admitting killing his daughter in Medicine Hat in the fall of 1997.

Amber Dickson’s body was found in his apartment, four days after she had left to spend the weekend with her father.

She had been sexually assaulted, bathed and wrapped in a blanket.

The girl’s mother, who was divorced from Mayhew, alerted police when her daughter failed to return.

The day after the girl’s body was found, Mayhew turned himself into police.

Prison spokesman Rick Mollan said on Monday that RCMP and the provincial coroner’s office are investigating the prisoner’s death.

The Correctional Service of Canada will also likely conduct a national review.

Mollan could not confirm that an autopsy will be performed today, saying it is up to the coroner’s office to determine how to proceed.

“We’re hopeful that an interim report may be forthcoming on a fairly timely basis.”

Mollan also could not address whether Mayhew had suffered any ongoing illnesses or medical conditions.

That information will come out in the coroner’s report, he said.

Bowden Institution houses 563 medium-security inmates and 72 minimum-security inmates.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com