Body pulled from Vancouver Island river

Local RCMP refuse to acknowledge incident

A body was pulled from the Puntledge River in Courtenay Thursday night.

Information is limited, but sources have told The Record an angler pulled a female body from the river, approximately one mile north of Condensory Bridge, and reported it to RCMP.

The fisherman spotted what he thought was garbage floating down the river. He waded in to retrieve it and discovered it was a body.

The area was immediately cordoned off by RCMP, and the angler was reportedly forced to leave his vehicle behind for a short period, as part of the crime scene.

It is suspected that the RCMP helicopter seen Friday, flying over the Puntledge River at low altitudes, was involved with the investigation.

Comox Valley RCMP refused to comment about the helicopter’s purpose when asked by The Record Friday morning.

Efforts made throughout the weekend to obtain information from the local RCMP detachment about Thursday’s incident were fruitless.

BC RCMP E Division responded to a request for information Monday morning.

“It looks like, at this point it is quite likely a coroner’s case,” said Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, of E Division, suggesting that the death is non-criminal in nature. “An autopsy is pending for later on this week, so until that is done, we cannot confirm 100 per cent [the nature of the death].”

Andy Watson, manager of communications with BC Coroner’s Service, confirmed the file has been handed over.

“The BC Coroners Service is early in its investigation and no other details are available at this time, but the death is not deemed to be suspicious in nature,” he said.

On Monday afternoon, the Comox Valley RCMP released its own statement on the incident, confirming the body of a female was discovered Thursday in the Puntledge River, near Third Street and Harmstron Avenue.

“We are asking for the public’s assistance for any information regarding this incident. If someone drove, cycled, or walked in this area and noticed anything suspicious, please contact our Major Crime unit,” said Cst. Monica Terragni.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321 and refer to file 2018-7248.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at http://comoxvalleycrimestoppers.bc.ca/

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