Quebec coroner determines death of Salluit teen was accidental
Maggie Tayara, 15, died of “environmental hypothermia”
A Quebec coroner has determined that the death of a 15-year-old girl in Salluit on Jan. 27 was accidental.
“The death of Maggie Tayara is attributed to environmental hypothermia when she was intoxicated due to alcohol and cannabis,” coroner Steeve Poisson said in his report into the causes and circumstances of the teenager’s death.
“It was an accidental death.”
An autopsy on Jan. 31 at the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale in Montreal found no evidence of trauma or criminal intent, Poisson said in his report.
“Environmental hypothermia” was the cause of death.
Hypothermia, which occurs when a person is exposed to frigid temperatures, is defined by a person’s core body temperature dropping to lower than 35 C.
This drop in body temperature prevents critical organs from working properly including the brain and heart, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In low temperatures, death can follow within less than an hour.
The autopsy found Tayara’s blood alcohol level was 147 mg/dl—well above the legal limit set for driving of 80 mg/dl.
The autopsy also revealed traces of antihistamine and cannabis in her blood.
Tayara was last seen in the community of about 1,500 in an intoxicated state on Jan. 27 with her friends at 2 a.m., the coroner’s report said.
After her father told the police at about 3:45 a.m. that she had never come home, the police conducted a search, but couldn’t find her.
A resident found Tayara’s partially snow-covered and frozen body some 12 hours later under a building, the coroner’s report said.
The temperature that night in Salluit fell to about minus 28.9 C, says Environment Canada.
Because members of the Kativik Regional Police Force were involved in the unsuccessful search for Tayara, Quebec’s independent police watchdog, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, investigated her death.
The BEI investigates deaths and injuries that take place in connection with police operations, but it does not always forward a report that results in charges being laid.
The BEI referred its findings about Tayara’s death to the director of criminal and penal prosecutions and the Quebec coroner’s office on Oct. 9.