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

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

Robbery with a hammer at Invermere Dairy Queen

Robber makes off with undisclosed amount of cash.

Talking valley politics

Local politicians offered an update on their communities and progess.

Who should own James Chabot park?

Invermere asks for James Chabot park back from province

January precipitation deepens snowpack in B.C.’s mountains

Most of the province now has higher-than-normal snowpack levels

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Police narrow down timeline in death of woman in West Kootenay

West Kootenay Traffic Services and BC Coroners Service working on the case

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Nanaimo man wins lotto, plans to buy $16,000 fridge

Curtis Wright a winner in Lotto 6/49 draw

Three protesters arrested after blocking driveway at premier’s home

Protestors claimed they would make a citizen’s arrest of the Premier, according to West Shore RCMP

Most Read