Traigo Andretti was checked multiple times through the night before he was found dead at Saskatoon’s Regional Psychiatric Centre (RPC), according to a correctional officer.
Former RPC officer Jeff Salyn told an inquest during hourly checks from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on July 1 and 2, Andretti “appeared to be sleeping.”
The 40-year-old inmate didn’t change positions through the night, Salyn testified on the first day of the inquest into Andretti’s death.
Around 7 a.m. on July 2, correctional officers found Andretti’s body stomach down, legs apart with his wounded left arm hanging off the bed.
He was holding a pen in his right hand with a journal nearby, according to Garrett McArthur, one of two officers to discover Andretti.
Underneath the bed sat a pool of blood contained in a makeshift basin crafted out of toilet paper, blankets and plastic bags.
Police and RPC workers couldn’t find a blade that would’ve caused the gash on Andretti’s arm. Staff theorized Andretti flushed the blade down the toilet, according to McArthur.
There were times when Andretti was considered at a high-risk for suicide, according to former RPC registered nursed Rebecca Riekmen.
Yet on the day of his death, Andretti wasn’t under any special precaution for suicide, she said.
Upon finding the body, staff attempted CPR on Andretti, though he was “obviously dead at that time,” Riekmen said.
Asked why they conducted CPR on a dead person, Riekmen responded “I guess we were concerned about optics and having blame laid.”
Officers discovered two notes in Andretti’s cell, one of which began with the phrase “what a fine day to die.”
Inmates removing institutional items from Andretti’s cell days after his death discovered his calendar, which read “T.E.A.” on June 27 with “DOA” written underneath.
Andretti’s initials are T.E.A.
The 40-year-old was serving an indeterminate sentence for two killings. In 2014, he was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his wife in British Columbia.
He later pleaded guilty in the 2006 death of Myrna Letandre in Winnipeg, whose partial remains were found in 2013 buried in a crawlspace at a rooming house.
Inquest testimony from thirteen total witnesses could conclude Wednesday.
At the conclusion, jurors will be tasked with determining cause and the means by which Andretti died.
The three-man, three-woman jury can also provide recommendations to prevent similar deaths from happening in the future.