Inmate found beaten to death at EMDC
Published Friday, November 1, 2013 12:13PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, November 2, 2013 3:55PM EDT
London police are investigating after an inmate at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre was found dead on Friday morning.
Officers and EMS were called to EMDC around 9:55 a.m. Friday morning for an inmate in distress.
The body of 29-year-old Adam Harvey Kargus was reportedly found in the showers of a general population unit by an operational manager conducting rounds.
London police Const. Ken Steeves says “When we arrived, he was VSA - vital signs absent - and had obvious trauma. He is deceased and we are currently on scene investigating.”
Sources tell CTV News rigor mortis appeared to have already set in when he was found and he had been so severely beaten it took 45 minutes to identify him.
Kargus, who is from Sarnia, was arrested for fraud and identity theft in July. He had been in protective custody, but reportedly asked to be moved to the general population.
The forensic and major crimes units have investigated and there are reports of significant blood spatter in the cell he shared with another Sarnia man.
Video footage reportedly shows a body wrapped in sheets being carried from Kargus’s cell. There are no cameras in jail cells or showers.
Inmates from the unit were in the yard for recreation when Kargus was found.
Early Friday afternoon police had set up a mobile command post outside the facility and there were reports they were actively seeking suspects. The Ministry of Correctional Services is also investigating.
The unit remains a crime scene and is very much an active investigation. The entire jail also remains in lockdown into Friday evening.
London lawyer Kevin Egan says “They're not all the nicest guys in there and when you jam them in there cheek to jowl the way they have been for years, you're going to have a hostile environment.”
This is the second death at the jail in the past four years. In April of 2009 Kenneth Randall Drysdale died as a result of head trauma suffered at the hands of other inmates.
Meanwhile the Institution Crisis Intervention Team was also called to EMDC Friday because two other inmates had barricaded themselves in their cells.
Those situations have since been resolved, but concerns continue over safety at the jail, with correctional officers telling CTV News in recent weeks there have been several assaults against staff and other inmates.
They say they’ve also been so short staffed that officers aren’t always working with a partner, a dangerous situation for both inmates and staff.