CAMBRIDGE BAY, Nunavut - Nunavut's chief coroner has called an inquest into the death of a young Cambridge Bay man who jumped out of an airplane.
Julien Tologanak, who was 20, was flying home April 15 after having mental health problems in Yellowknife. He leapt from a small Adlair Aviation plane flying at 7,000 metres. His body has never been found.
Chief coroner Tim Neily said he called the inquest, which is not mandatory, in the hope it will help people in the small, remote community come to terms with Tologanak's death.
"The purpose of the inquest is really to satisfy the public interest into the death and examine all of the events that led up to the death," Neily said in an interview Thursday.
"There is a lot of confusion in the community about what went on."
Details of what happened that day have suggested a Good Samaritan gesture by a family friend went wrong.
Immediately following the death, Paul Laserich, general manager of Adlair Aviation, said he had known Tologanak's mother for decades and received a frantic telephone call in Yellowknife. She told him her son had been badly beaten up, and could Laserich please get him on a plane home to Cambridge Bay?
Laserich said he didn't know why Tologanak had been beaten up and he was not aware the young man had any other medical problems.
RCMP said officers were called hours before the flight to a Yellowknife hotel where Tologanak was found showing signs of depression. Police took him to hospital, but he was later released.
Laserich said Tologanak was alert and appeared normal before he got on the plane. He didn't seem to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol or medication. Laserich called Tologanak's mother after the plane took off to say her son was on his way.
Then things went wrong.
A preliminary report sent to Transport Canada says the crew of the King Air 200 declared an emergency about 160 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay. The report says the plane was at 7,000 metres when a disruptive male passenger opened the cabin door and jumped out.
The cabin of the plane rapidly depressurized. The two pilots managed to land safely with the door open.
The only other passenger on the plane, a woman, was uninjured.
Neily, who will preside over the inquest, said it is to include a jury of six people from the Cambridge Bay area. They must determine the cause of death and the manner of death, a task that will be challenging without the man's body.
"They may have a difficulty of determining the manner of death, meaning was this an accident, or a natural death or a suicide or a homicide, or whatever," he said.
A report released last year said Inuit men between the ages of 15 and 24 kill themselves at a rate roughly 28 times that of their peers in southern Canada - about 600 per 100,000.