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News Release

SIU Concludes Temiskaming Investigation

Case Number: 05-PCD-086

TORONTO (20 June, 2005) --- James Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded there is no basis to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer is criminally liable in relation to the death of Michael Peplinski.

The SIU was notified by the OPP and initiated a probe into the nature and extent of police involvement in Mr. Peplinski's death. He died on June 5, 2005, after suffering a gunshot wound to his head.

The investigation determined that on June 3, 2005, Mr. Peplinski's family members called the OPP concerned about his well-being. The OPP were unable to locate him until about 4:15 p.m. on June 5, 2005, when an OPP helicopter from Sudbury located a car similar to that of Mr. Peplinski. The police watched the car as it traveled the side roads. Ground units were advised of Mr. Peplinski's route and police cruisers were directed to intercept the car.

Mr. Peplinski eventually drove to a farm on Hilliardton Road, in the Township of Hilliard, and into a tin covered shed. At about 4:47 p.m., an officer on Hilliardton Road advised the police communications center that he had seen Mr. Peplinski take a long gun from the back seat of the car. The OPP Emergency Response Team was called to contain the area around the shed.
The officers in the helicopter continued to circle the shed and at approximately 5:15 p.m., an officer in the helicopter observed that a man was lying on the ground at the driver's side of the car with a long gun at his side. The officers could not confirm whether the man was alive or dead.

At 6:24 p.m., an officer entered the shed and saw Mr. Peplinski suffering from what appeared to be a fatal gunshot wound.

Director Cornish concluded, "Based upon the information obtained during the course of the investigation, it appears that Mr. Peplinski took his own life after making numerous threats to do so. There is no evidence that the OPP officers involved did anything that caused or contributed to the death of Mr. Peplinski."

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence  in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General. 

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SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342