Alexandra Bridge across the Fraser River near where a man fleeing police was seen in the water last week. His body was found near Mission on July 26, 2019. (Paul Henderson/ Black Press)

B.C. police watchdog investigate after body found in Fraser River near Mission

Man fleeing police was last seen in the Fraser River north of Spuzzum

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO) was deployed to Hope on Sunday to look into the death of a man fleeing from police who was last seen in the Fraser River.

The body of the man believed to be the one last seen near the Alexandra Bridge area north of Yale was discovered near Mission on Friday.

• READ MORE: Body found in Fraser River connected to earlier police incident near Hope

The incident began when Hope RCMP reported four suspects were connected to a suspicious vehicle at a home in Yale on July 23.

Four people fled the vehicle on foot. Three were taken into custody but one man fled on foot.

“Officers were able to locate and arrest three other people, but one man was seen in the Fraser River before officers lost sight of him,” RCMP said in a press release issued July 27.

Hope SAR reported that they were called out by a member of the Hope RCMP on July 23 just after noon for a person seen floating on their back near Alexandra Bridge on the Fraser River.

Hope SAR deployed a team on a rescue boat and sent other members to watch from the shoreline in Yale. They searched the Fraser River from Hope up to Lady Franklin in Yale, but the man was not located during a six-hour search.

The following morning, July 24, the search resumed with help from Kent Harrison and Chilliwack SAR. The rescue boat as well as jet skis and Valley Helicopter were utilized, but at 2 p.m. the search concluded.

The man’s body was recovered in the Fraser River near Mission late July 26 after a boater reported it to police.

RCMP then notified the IIO, which investigates all police-related incidents that result in injury or death.

– with files from Patrick Penner

• READ MORE: IIO recommends charges after B.C. man dies following arrest involving pepper spray


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paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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