The coroner dismisses the criminal thesis in the death of an octogenarian in Dolbeau-Mistassini
Manoir Cinq Saisons is located on 5th Avenue, in Dolbeau-Mistassini.
Bertrand Bernier, 81, died after going out in the middle of the night scantily clad when it was -32 degrees Celsius outside.
In her report, coroner Monique Tremblay concludes that, around 3:00 a.m. on February 3, 2022, Mr. Bernier left the private residence for seniors, the Manoir Cinq Saisons, where he lived since 2014.
“According to the police investigation report, the Sûreté du Québec, the MRC de Maria-Chapdelaine, no element leads to the conclusion that it was a criminal act or a deliberate act by another person that caused Mr. Bernier's death. »
— Monique Tremblay, coroner
The octogenarian normally resided in the autonomous section of the residence, but in January 2022 he had reached an agreement with the management to move freely between his unit and that dedicated to people with Alzheimer's disease where he visited relatives. .
Bertrand Bernier suffered from schizophrenia, but he was not part of the target clientele for this unit of the residence. He also had to walk with a white cane due to chronic cataracts.
The day before his death, he had spent the day in the neighboring unit. The octogenarian had left in the middle of the night to return to his room.
“About twenty minutes later, the night watchman brought Mr. Bernier back to Unit 1, in mentioning that he had found Mr. Bernier in the lobby, Mr. Bernier seemed confused and complained of pain in his stomach. He rested in the chair in Unit 1 and shortly after, around 2:00 a.m., he mentioned to the attendant that he was going to bed in his room,” said coroner Tremblay.
The residence's surveillance cameras reveal that Bertrand Bernier then found himself between the two main entrance doors of the residence wearing a small sweater, boxer shorts and stockings.
He felt for the locked door to come back inside, but without asking the guard to open it for him. He then headed outside and did not return.
Everything leads us to believe that the event is attributable to a voluntary action by Mr. Bernard. […] Due to his difficulty moving around and a state of confusion, he probably fell, broke his hip and was unable to get up, concludes Monique Tremblay.
Bertrand Bernier was found without his white cane around 5:30 a.m. 130 meters from the residence. He died in hospital of severe hypothermia.