Mentally-ill killer escapes on supervised visit, found at Calgary motel

ukhi Cheema, the owner of The Travellers Inn at 16th ave and 46 street in NW Calgary, Alta. holds up a bill on Dec. 15,2012 for a room booked by Ranjit Singh Friday night.

Credits: Stuart Dryden/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency


CALGARY - Described as quiet and polite, a mentally-ill killer managed to slip away from staff at a psychiatric centre and check himself in to a northwest Calgary motel.

Confessed killer Ranjit Singh, 32, was on a supervised outing from the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre (SAFPC) when he somehow managed to slip away from his escort about 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Citing privacy concerns, Alberta Health Services (AHS) spokesman Jason Morton said he couldn't comment on how Singh managed to get away from his escort, where he was going or what security protocols were in place for the outing, saying only the patient was with an AHS staff member at the time.

"This is the first elopement incident of a not criminally responsible patient at the SAFPC since it opened," he said, adding AHS will do an internal review.

"Any time there's an incident like this, there's an internal follow up."

The review findings will not be made public, said Morton.

After making his escape, Singh managed to hail a cab, which took him to the Traveller's Inn Motel at about 10 p.m.

Once there, he rented a room for three nights, paying the $327 bill and $100 security deposit ­- charged because he didn't have any photo ID - with his debit card.

"A very nice gentleman, soft speaking," said motel owner Sukhi Cheema, noting Singh told her he was from Edmonton.

"But he did look stressed out."

Wearing a grey coat with the hood pulled over his head, Singh was carrying a plastic grocery bag, said Cheema.

He was only in the room for about 10 minutes - where he managed to smoke five cigarettes - before swarms of police arrived and arrested him without any problems.

"He opened the curtain a little bit and saw the police and he opened the door right away," said Cheema.

Suffering from severe schizophrenia at the time, Singh was found not criminally responsible in the 2009 bludgeoning death of his father, Harinder, in the family's northeast home.

Singh has been returned to the SAFPC where he continues to be held.

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