The body of Thomas Turner was found in the Cowichan River on May 21. (Facebook)

The body of Thomas Turner was found in the Cowichan River on May 21. (Facebook)

Cowichan River victim identified, family looking for help with funds for funeral

Donations can be made to North Cowichan’s Norcross Return-It centre

Family has identified the man found dead in the Cowichan River on May 21.

In a Facebook request for empties to help raise funds for his funeral, Tori Turner named her uncle Thomas Turner as the man who was pulled from the river.

SEE RELATED: Update: Body recovered from Cowichan River in Duncan

“He was the closest thing that I had to a dad,” she said, later, of her uncle’s unexpected death.

“When I drove to my mom’s work to tell her about her brother, it was the worst. Seeing the heartbreak in her face tore me apart,” she said. “It was terrible.”

Tori Turner said she and her mom were collecting empties and will be setting up an account at the bottle depot for those who wouldn’t mind pitching in.

Police and emergency medical crews were called to the river shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Friday after a body was spotted floating downstream in the area of the 3000 block of Allenby Road. A second report came in shortly afterward, stating that the body was in the river behind a business in the 400 block of Cowichan Way.

“He went to sit in his chair by the river in his backyard like he always does,” Tori Turner explained. “He loved that river so much. And we have no idea exactly what happened,” she said adding that an investigation is underway.

The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team worked with Cowichan Search and Rescue to retrieve Turner’s body and return it to shore.

“Although a full determination has not yet been made, police do not believe that criminality was involved in the man’s unexpected death,” said BC RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. “The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP will continue to support the BC Coroners Service as the parallel investigations continue to move forward.”

Donations can be made to the Norcross Return-It centre to account 543 in Thomas Turner’s name.

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sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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