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Suspicious death under investigation in Saltair

Body recovered from the shore of Davis Lagoon Wednesday
Police presence at the Davis Lagoon Bridge in Saltair Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Harman Kambo)

A body was recovered from the water near the Davis Lagoon Bridge in Saltair Wednesday afternoon.

It’s being deemed a suspicious death. The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit has assumed control of the investigation, assisted by the Vancouver Island Forensic Identification Services.

“I can confirm that the BC Coroners Service was notified and is investigating,” added Ryan Panton, manager of strategic communications and media relations. “As we’re early in the process of trying to determine all of the facts, I have no additional information available at this time.“

Ladysmith RCMP responded to the area of Lagoon Road off Chemainus Road Wednesday just after 1 p.m. after a witness reported what appeared to be a body on the shore.

When police attended, they discovered a deceased individual. Initial evidence gathered by officers at the scene led them to believe the body had been there several days.

Residents in the area reported seeing a vehicle submerged in the lagoon two days earlier.

Investigators are looking into the circumstances of a black Toyota RAV4 located in the lagoon on Monday.

“It is too early at this stage of the investigation to determine the leading cause of the individual’s death,” said Corp. Alex Bérubé, RCMP spokesman, in a media release. “We are looking for anyone with video surveillance or dashcam footage from anyone who lives in the Davis Lagoon area from 11 p.m. on March 5 to 12 p.m. on March 6. We are also looking to speak with anyone with dashcam footage who may have travelling on the Trans-Canada Highway during this time passing through Ladysmith and Chemainus.”

Three RCMP vehicles were on the scene Wednesday at 2 p.m., according to a Saltair resident who drove past the area, and there was yellow tape across the boat launch driveway. Three RCMP members were standing down by the water.

When the resident returned home two hours later, there were five RCMP vehicles parked by the bridge as more officers attended the scene.

Anyone with information regarding the circumstances around this incident, including information about the black Toyota RAV4, is asked to contact the VIIMCU information line at 250-380-6211.


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Police head to the water by the Davis Lagoon Bridge to investigate. (Photo by Harman Kambo)
This vehicle was seen in the water in Davis Lagoon two days before a body was discovered. (Photo by Tanya Reid/Facebook)

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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