COCHRANE - Police have begun a criminal investigation into the death of a miner at the Detour Gold Mine in Cochrane three months ago.
While a criminal investigation suggests suspicion of foul play, Ontario Provincial Police would not confirm whether or not that is in fact the case.
Denis Millette, a millwright at the mine, died while on the job on June 3.
According to information released by the OPP on Wednesday, Millette was repairing a piece of equipment when at approximately 2 p.m. that day, his co-workers found him in â€œmedical distress.â€
He was taken to the mineâ€™s on-site medical staff but died a few hours later.
As with all workplace deaths, the Ontario Ministry of Labour began an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
That investigation that has now prompted police involvement.
OPP Sgt. Carole Dionne, a regional spokeswoman for the provincial police, said the investigation was sparked after a toxicology report was conducted on Milletteâ€™s body. This, said Dionne, also explains why the investigation is taking place so long after the death.
â€œIf we can't determine the cause of death or any death outside of a hospital setting, there needs to be an autopsy where they examine your organs and do a toxicology report,â€ Dionne explained. â€œThat takes time because it has to be sent to Toronto or Sault Ste. Marie.â€
Toxicology reports test for chemicals or intoxicants in someone's bloodstream.
Dionne could not reveal what the toxicology tests had found was inside Milletteâ€™s system when he died. The Daily Press also contacted the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario, which conducted the test, but could not reach anyone there before press time.
Whatever the results were, they were serious enough to spark a police investigation with the assistance of the OPPâ€™s Criminal Investigations Branch, the Centre of Forensic Sciences, and Northeast Region Coronerâ€™s Office.
Dionne said she could also not discuss whether or not investigators believe Millette was the victim of foul play. She also could not say if the medical attention Millette required was because of what was in his system or because of an injury.
The OPP is asking people with information about the incident to contact them, or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.
â€œIf there is any information they feel may be pertinent â€” or not, it could be something small â€” to contact us,â€ said Dionne.
Any person with information is asked to contact the OPPâ€™s Criminal Investigation Branch at 1-888-310-1122 or their nearest police authority. They can also contact Cochrane District Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
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