British Columbia

Woman reported missing found dead at home; police watchdog investigating

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. says it has launched an investigation into the case of a North Vancouver woman who was found dead in her apartment just days after being reported missing.

RCMP officers checked the woman's residence two days before she was found

Elizabeth Joanna Napierala was reported missing by North Vancouver RCMP on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. (North Vancouver RCMP)

B.C.'s police watchdog has launched an investigation into the case of a North Vancouver woman who was found dead in her apartment two days after being reported missing.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. said in a statement it was notified of the incident on Thursday by North Vancouver RCMP.

Mounties completed a welfare check at the home of Elizabeth Joanna Napierala on Sept. 3 but were unable to locate her, said the IIO. The next day, police checked her home again and filed a missing persons report after they could not find her, the IIO added. 

Police found her body inside her apartment on Sept. 5. 

"As a result of the fact that the RCMP had been called and had made efforts to locate the woman prior to her being found deceased, and therefore the inactions of police may have somehow potentially played a role in her death, the IIO was contacted to conduct an investigation," said the agency's Ron MacDonald.

In the missing person report, North Vancouver RCMP said Napierala was last seen on Sept. 2 in the Woodcroft Complex at 2004 Fullerton Ave.

The 45-year-old woman was described as suffering from medical conditions that would make her "vulnerable to being outside and prone to falling down."

Napierala was located at her residence Thursday afternoon around 1:15 p.m. and was later declared dead. No details have been provided concerning her possible cause of death.

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