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B.C. police watchdog seeks witnesses after man found dead in Vancouver Island lake

Click to play video: 'Police watchdog investigating man’s death near Port Alberni'
Police watchdog investigating man’s death near Port Alberni
WATCH: B.C.'s independent police watchdog is looking for witnesses in connection with the death of a man near Port Alberni. – Dec 19, 2023

British Columbia’s civilian police watchdog is appealing for witnesses in the death of a man near Port Alberni last week.

According to the Independent Investigations Office of BC, the 83-year-old was found dead in his vehicle on Dec. 15. It was submerged in Sproat Lake near Lakeshore and Kimola roads.

Two days earlier, the RCMP had checked in on the man in response to a call of concern for the well-being of an older man seen driving a green Pontiac Sunfire.

The IIO said officers found him on Dec. 13 around 8:40 p.m., but by about 10:25 p.m., had received another call informing them that the man never made it home.

Click to play video: 'Man and his dog found dead near Kamloops'
Man and his dog found dead near Kamloops

Police issued a missing person report and reportedly searched for him, but didn’t find him until it was too late.

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On Dec. 15, the Port Alberni RCMP detachment offered condolences to his family and friends, but made no other comment about his death.

“The IIO was notified shortly after the incident occurred and initial investigative steps will determine the details of the interaction between the man and officer, and where the man went after speaking to the officer,” the watchdog said in a Tuesday news release.

Anyone who saw the green Pontiac Sunfire between 8:45 p.m. on Dec. 13 and noon on Dec. 14 is asked to contact the IIO’s witness line at 1-855-446-8477.

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