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.

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

Just Posted

FVRL launches online library cards

FVRL’s services have evolved

Abbotsford family of 5 who was stuck in Vietnam is now back home

Janzen family sends ‘huge and heartfelt’ thank you to everyone who helped

Man who tries to start gas-station fight gets sprayed with gasoline

Suspect returns with knife but is quickly arrested by Abbotsford police

Future is an unknown for Mission food banks

Charitable organizations are managing for now, but fear donations may slow while demands increase

Abbotsford’s Menno Place asks for donations of protective equipment for staff

B.C.’s largest senior care facility houses 700 residents and employs 700 staff

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

Most Read