Montreal police find body of isolated 65-year-old after failed attempts to reach her; watchdog investigating
A Montreal police car is seen Friday, April 5, 2019 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
MONTREAL -- Montreal police officers did four checkups this winter on an isolated 65-year-old, at the request of a family member, before entering her home and finding her body almost a month later.
Quebec’s police watchdog is now investigating the officers’ actions.
A release from the BEI, the office that looks into instances of death or injury that appear connected in some way to police actions, said eight investigators began to look into the case on Thursday.
The first call came in about the woman on Jan. 21, said the BEI.
That day, “a person reportedly contacted emergency services after having no news from her family member, a woman residing in Montreal,” said the release.
Officers reported that they went to her address. Though she’d been out of touch with her family, they said that they “made contact with her,” and that she told them she was self-isolating in the pandemic.
She “reportedly explained to them that she was voluntarily self-isolating because she was afraid of catching COVID-19,” said the BEI.
Police then left the scene, the BEI said.
But a caller again requested checkups on the same 65-year-old’s safety four more times, with the officers in those instances saying they couldn’t make contact with her.
On Feb. 8, they went to her home and “received no response, toured outside the home and asked neighbours a few questions. They then left,” the BEI wrote.
On Feb. 12, the same thing happened. One officer on that visit reportedly suggested to the caller that he or she get an order allowing the home to be entered.
On Feb. 16, another call came in for the same reason. Police again “toured the premises,” were unable to speak to the woman, and left.
The next day, on Feb. 17, yet another call came in. Unable again to contact the woman in question, “police reportedly requested the services of a locksmith” and finally entered the house, the BEI wrote.
They discovered her body inside that day.
The BEI didn’t estimate when she had died or give any other information about the case. Once it’s in the hands of the watchdog agency, the police agency -- in this case Montreal police -- no longer comments on the case.
However, the BEI is asking anyone with information about the event to contact it through www.bei.gouv.qc.ca.