Newborn found dead inside portable toilet on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside: police
VANCOUVER -- Police in Vancouver say an infant was found dead inside a portable toilet on the Downtown Eastside Wednesday.
Investigators had an area near a bank of portable toilets at Main and Hastings streets blocked off by police tape, but it has since reopened.
"This is a, without a doubt, an extremely tragic incident," said Const. Tania Visintin in a news release the next day.
"We need to speak with any witnesses and the mother of this baby as we are deeply concerned for her mental and physical well-being. It has been a tough evening for the community and the department."
Police say they were called to the area at about 6 p.m. They said it was "obvious to responding officers that the baby was deceased."
Video taken outside a bank of portable toilets in the area showed several police officers in the area.
The door of one of the portable toilets set up near the corner was open and the sidewalk outside the Carnegie Community Centre was closed off by police tape. The area has since re-opened.
The City of Vancouver recently installed 32 portable toilets across the Downtown Eastside to meet COVID-19 health guidelines and provide additional washroom access in the neighbourhood.
The city says the toilets are checked and cleaned twice a day.
The B.C. Coroners Service is also investigating the baby’s death.
It says it is in the early stages of determining the circumstances of what happened after being alerted of the potential death of the infant Wednesday night.
Police say the investigation is ongoing and ask anyone with information to contact the Major Crime Section at 604-717-2500. Tips can also be sent anonymously through Crime Stoppers.