UBC student dies two days after being in RCMP custody
Published Friday, February 26, 2010 11:10PM PST
Vancouver police have been asked to investigate the death of a 20-year-old UBC student who had recently been in Whistler RCMP custody.
According to Vancouver police, the man was arrested by Whistler RCMP shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday for public intoxication.
While in jail, the man fell several times, Vancouver police said in a statement.
The man was released at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Early Thursday morning, the man was found unconscious at a UBC residence and taken to hospital where he died Friday at about 1:30 p.m.
RCMP requested Vancouver authorities open an investigation immediately after the student was taken to hospital because it happened so soon after he was in police custody, Const. Jana McGuinness told ctvbc.ca.
"The RCMP felt it was prudent to send the investigation to an external agency," she said.
McGuinness said she couldn't confirm whether the student had received any medical attention while in the Whistler jail.
She also said she couldn't comment on the cause of death.
She did confirm to ctvbc.ca that investigators will be reviewing surveillance video from the Whistler jail.
Police declined to identify the student, but CTV News has learned that he is Silas Rogers, a native of New Brunswick.
Rogers was a third-year student in the Faculty of Arts, his roommate Andrew Simpson told ctvbc.ca.
Simpson said Rogers had gone up to Whistler to visit his girlfriend and other friends. After his release from jail, Rogers spent the night at his girlfriend's apartment on the UBC campus. That's where he was found unconscious.
Simpson said Rogers was outgoing, "the friendliest guy in the world," who even performed stand-up comedy.
Rogers was interested in pursuing law, Simpson said.
Simpson said Rogers' parents have flown in to Vancouver from their home in New Brunswick.
With files from CTV British Columbia's Alia Dharssi and Sarah Galashan