The Independent Investigations Office of BC looks into incidents of serious harm or death involving police in B.C., is investigating what role, if any, the police’s actions or inaction may have had in a person’s death. (Black Press Media files)

RCMP cleared after B.C. woman found dead in home, despite police check

Elizabeth Joanna Napierala, 45, was reported missing on Sept. 3, 2019

B.C.’s police watchdog has ruled out any wrongdoing by police after a missing woman was found dead inside her North Vancouver home.

Elizabeth Joanna Napierala, 45, was reported missing on Sept. 3, 2019 after Mounties carried out a welfare check at her one-bedroom apartment on Fullerton Avenue. Police continued to look for the woman in the area and nearby trails, and asked the public to keep an eye out for her.

Napierala’s body was found underneath her bed two days later, on Sept. 5, by officers revisiting her apartment, according to a newly released report by the Independent Investigation Office of B.C.

The B.C. Coroners Service determined the woman had died of “diphenhydramine toxicity,” an antihistamine used in many common allergy, motion sickness and sleep medications.

Investigators with the IIO were deployed to determine if police actions or inactions played a role in Napierala’s death.

In the independent agency’s findings, released Thursday, the IIO said it’s believed the woman died sometime between Sept. 3 and 5 – possibly before police conducted their initial welfare check – but that the arrangement of bags and boxes around the bedroom blocked any view to under the bed.

“The RCMP as an organization did everything that could reasonable be expected of them,” the report reads.

If you feel like you are in crisis or are considering suicide, please call the Crisis Centre BC suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433.

Other resources include: Canada Suicide Prevention Service at Toll free: 1-833-456-4566. You can also text 45645 or visit the online chat service at crisisservicescanada.ca.

Some warning signs include suicidal thoughts, anger, recklessness, mood changes, anxiety, lack of purpose, helplessness and substance abuse.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Couple home safe after COVID-19 lockdown in Peru

Cortney Pitts and Maxime Patenaude “won the lottery” to get to come home from Peru.

Foodbanking in the time of COVID-19

Local food bank needs are high, but Lawrie Mack said: “there is hope to counter the gloom.”

Rievaj family: alone together during COVID-19

Alone together is a Pioneer series about how local families are coping with COVID-19

Construction continues at Radium Hot Springs pools

Demolition done, slab for subfloor poured

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Most Read