Fort Saskatchewan resident, Derek Osterland wants to know how his son had access to drugs while in jail, which ultimately led to his death.
23-year-old Cody Osterland died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at the Drumheller Institution back in September 2016.
His father, Derek, received the medical examiner's confirmation about his son's death in December, which should have given him closure, instead it opened the door to more questions.
“The report (Board of Investigation Report) states there was a cleaner going around passing notes to inmates that were in segregation, where in segregation you’re not to have any contact at all,” said Derek.
He questions why staff did not try to stop this behavior, if they knew it was happening.
The report indicated that there was almost a 15 hour gap between checks done on Cody in his cell.
By the time Cody was found after overdosing, rigor mortis had already started to set in.
“There’s always that little piece of my mind saying, he had the choice, he had the choice to take that drug or not, but I don’t believe he knew what he was taking. Nobody in their right mind would take fentanyl,” said Derek.
According to Alberta Health, deaths per day in Alberta from drug overdose in relation to fentanyl has gone up from 0.86 per day in 2016, to 1.33 per day in 2017.
Reportedly, overdose numbers are on the rise in Alberta institutions. In 2015/16 there were 11 overdoses and the following year there were 28. Out of them all, Drumheller Institution had 18 overdoses or suspected overdoses between 2016 and 17.
“As far as I’m concerned those people working that evening, weren’t doing their job. I believe there was some negligence...and I want them to own up to it,” he added.
In reading the report, Derek found out a lot about his son.
“It’s hard. I don’t want to place blame on anybody for his life. As his father ultimately, I’m responsible, at least while he was in my care and I tried to do my best and when he’s not in my life there’s not much I can do and now he’s not in my life again and I’ll never see him again and I cherish the rest of my family I have left,” said Derek.
Cody was in the midst of serving an almost three and a half year sentence at the time of his death.
Osterland had nine charges against him including, break and enter, theft, possession of property obtained by crime, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, drug trafficking, possession, use or trafficking of stolen, forged or false credit cards, possession of break and enter instruments and failing to comply with court orders.