A Toronto woman is seeking answers after her husband, a Roma refugee, died in the Toronto West Detention Centre on Dec. 8, two days after he was supposed to have been deported.

The Ontario coroner is investigating the death of Jan Samko, 31, who was scheduled to be sent back to the Czech Republic.

On Dec. 9, a Toronto police officer told Samko’s widow Nadezda Peterova and the couple’s daughter Sabina, 9, the factory worker had been found dead in his cell.

Andrei Balog, Samko’s brother-in-law, said a consulate official initially told them “there was some kind of incident. Mr. Samko got upset and he had to be subdued at the airport,” but the office later suggested the man had a “heart problem.”

Other than a limp from an injury he suffered in an attack by neo-Nazis as a youngster, Balog said Samko was healthy.

Stuart McGetrick, spokesperson for the provincial Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, said if the death is ruled “not of natural cause,” an inquest will be held.

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