Woman found dead in burning vehicle the day after arrest in North Van
VANCOUVER -- B.C.'s police watchdog has been notified after a woman was found dead in a burning vehicle the day after she was released from RCMP custody.
Authorities said officers arrested the woman at a North Vancouver home after she allegedly "threatened a person known to her" on Sunday morning.
She was processed and released from custody the same day, then found dead the very next morning in the small community of Lions Bay.
Officers from the Squamish RCMP detachment discovered her body in a burning vehicle after being called to Sunset Drive at around 7:15 a.m. Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet told CTV News that investigators do not suspect foul play in her death.
After the discovery, the RCMP notified the Independent Investigations Office, which is tasked with determining whether police actions or inaction contributed to the woman's death.
The watchdog's mandate is to investigate all police-related incidents that result in death or serious harm, regardless of whether there's any allegation of wrongdoing on the part of officers.
Chief civilian director Ron MacDonald said it's "not uncommon" for the IIO to be notified about incidents that happen hours after a person's direct interaction with police has ended.
"In this case, the RCMP felt it appropriate to refer to us and we feel it's appropriate for us to have a look at the facts," MacDonald said.
The cause of the woman's of death hasn't been confirmed. It's unclear whether there was any indication she might be at risk of suicide before police released her from custody, but MacDonald said "those are the types of questions we look at in cases such as this."