Police await autopsy results after northern Alberta woman dies in RCMP cell

An investigation is underway into the death of a woman who was being held in a northern Alberta police cell.

ASSUMPTION — An investigation is underway into the death of a woman who was being held in a northern Alberta police cell.

RCMP say the 28-year-old woman wasn’t breathing when she was found Sunday at the detachment in Assumption and taken to hospital in High Level.

“She was found in distress, unconscious, in the cells,” spokesman Sgt. Patrick Webb said Monday. “Medical treatment was started while she was there, continued during her transportation and then at hospital she was pronounced deceased.”

Webb said there was no indication yet if she had a medical condition that may have contributed to her death.

“We have to wait for the autopsy to give us a cause of death, but they should be able to tell us what happened here and whether it was something pre-existing that occurred.”

The woman’s name has not been released, but police say she was a resident of Assumption, about 900 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

The sergeant couldn’t say if the woman was known to police.

“I don’t have any details on her previous contact with RCMP. That certainly would be part of the investigation, all previous as well as her current reason for incarceration … So many details have to be examined and that’s what the major crimes unit is doing right now —looking back into her history with the RCMP, her activities in the previous hours and days before her arrest.”

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which reviews matters involving police, is helping with the investigation.

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