Quebec’s police watchdog, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 65-year-old woman in Montreal.
The woman’s lifeless body was discovered inside her home on Feb. 17, following an intervention by Montreal police (SPVM) officers.
In a news release, the BEI said a family member first contacted emergency services on Jan. 21 after being without news of their loved one.
According to the BEI, SPVM officers went to the woman’s home and made contact with her. She allegedly told police that she was voluntarily self-isolating because she feared contracting COVID-19.
The BEI report states police officers then left the premises.
A second call was reportedly made on Feb. 8, to ensure the woman was safe.
The BEI says police once again returned to the woman’s but this time, there was no answer. This prompted officers to walk around the home and speak with some neighbors to ask a few questions before taking leave.
A third call was logged a few days later on Feb. 12 with the same request, where the same scenario played out at the home: there was no answer, officers did a walkaround and then spoke to neighbours before leaving.
The BEI, however, says that on that occasion a police officer suggested to the caller that they obtain an order to allow entry into the home.
Another call was made on Feb. 16.
“Police were again unable to make contact with the woman. They toured around the premises and then left,” the BEI said.
After yet another call on Feb. 17 and being unable to reach the woman, police enlisted the help of a locksmith. Once inside the residence, they discovered the woman’s lifeless body.
Eight investigators have been tasked to look into the incident. The BEI investigates whenever a person, other than a police officer on duty, dies or suffers a serious injury during a police intervention or while in police custody.
The BEI is asking anyone with information to get in touch via its website.