‘Complex issue’ delays watchdog probe into 2016 White Rock in-custody death

‘Complex issue’ delays watchdog probe into 2016 White Rock in-custody death

Patricia Ann Wilson was found unresponsive on March 29, 2016

More than 2½ years after the death of a woman in White Rock RCMP cells, officials with the Independent Investigations Office say their examination of Patricia Ann Wilson’s file will continue until at least the new year.

Ron MacDonald, chief civilian director of the IIO, said this week that one “complex” aspect of Wilson’s case is still left to resolve before he can sign off.

He wouldn’t elaborate on what that aspect was, but said it has been “outstanding for a few months now” and wouldn’t be wrapping up before the end of December.

“But I’m hoping it won’t take too much longer than that,” MacDonald told Peace Arch News Friday.

“I can ensure you and your readers the reason for (the length of the investigation so far) is because we are being very thorough in examination of the circumstances behind Miss Wilson’s death.”

Wilson, 58, was found unresponsive on the morning of March 29, 2016, less than four hours after she had been assessed by paramedics. Attempts to revive her were unsuccessful, a news release issued at the time stated.

The release did not say why paramedics were initially called, however, Mounties did say that Wilson – who was later described by friends as someone who “always had a big smile” – had been arrested four days earlier, on an outstanding warrant, and was being held for a March 29 appearance in Surrey Provincial Court.

READ MORE: Woman, 58, dies in White Rock RCMP custody

READ MORE: White Rock woman who died in police custody ‘a kind soul’

Following her death, the IIO initially deployed seven investigators. Steps in the first six months of the investigation included “interviewing civilian witnesses, designating and interviewing subject and witness officers, examining evidence from the scene and reviewing video from White Rock RCMP cells,” an IIO spokesperson told PAN six months later.

Friday, MacDonald said investigators have kept in touch with Wilson’s family.

He noted it “wouldn’t be fair to the individuals still involved in the investigation” to elaborate on the outstanding issue, but said it was an aspect that was “out of our control.”

“Every case is different and there are always going to be ones that take longer than we want,” he said.

MacDonald said Wilson’s case is one of just four on the IIO’s books that pre-date 2017 and remain outstanding.

He noted that of 70 IIO files opened since April 1 of this year, 20 remain active. Of 119 opened in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, six are outstanding, he added.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual interference in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Menno Home in Abbotsford

Long-term care home had 67 cases and 13 deaths since mid-November

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane towed across Chilliwack over weekend

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Fraser East COVID-19 numbers plateau, rest of region trends down

Fraser East is sitting around 400 new COVID-19 cases each week

Rose Sawka, 91, waves to her son through the window of a care home in Prince Rupert in October. Residents of the care home received their first vaccine dose Jan. 20. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)
B.C. care home visitor access to expand by March, Dix says

Staff, residents, essential visitors top priorities for vaccine

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

(Pixhere photo)
B.C. dentists argue for COVID-19 vaccine priority after ‘disappointing’ exclusion from plan

Vaccines are essential for dentists as patients cannot wear masks during treatment, argues BCDA

Hundreds participated in the Abbotsford Kisaan Tractor Rally on Sunday. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Tractor rally in Abbotsford draws hundreds

Abbotsford Kisaan Tractor Rally occurred on Sunday

Most Read