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Police watchdog called to Port Alberni after man, covered in blood, drowns while fleeing RCMP

An RCMP File Photo.
An RCMP File Photo. File / Global News

The drowning death of a man who fled Port Alberni RCMP while covered in blood Thursday morning is now being investigated by B.C.’s police watchdog.

RCMP said they received a report from an unnamed business around 3 a.m. that an unclothed man had left their store and made his way to a nearby car wash, where he went to wash the blood off his body.

READ MORE: Man lit on fire after getting Tasered by Vancouver police, watchdog investigating

Officers located the man, but he began running and was chased to a nearby river.

The man then waded into the water, followed by officers. Police say attempts to reach the man were unsuccessful.

RCMP confirmed the man’s body has been recovered.

It’s not known how the man came to be covered in blood, or if he was involved in any other crimes in the Port Alberni area.

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READ MORE: B.C.’s police watchdog called to investigate death in Langley

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) has now been called in to investigate the man’s death.

The IIO has a mandate to investigate any case of serious harm or death in which police action or inaction may have played a role.

RCMP are referring all questions about the case to the IIO.

Police watchdog probes death of North Van woman reported missing
Police watchdog probes death of North Van woman reported missing