No foul play suspected after burned body of homeless person found in North Vancouver

·2 min read

VANCOUVER — A burned body, believed to be of a homeless person, has been found in a forested area of North Vancouver, B.C.

RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries says no foul play is suspected at this time and instead this appears to be a tragic accident.

He says a resident of a nearby home called police around 5 p.m. Friday about a fire in the bushes behind the Phibbs Exchange bus loop near Orwell Street.

Police found the body along with items that suggested the person had set up shelter in the area.

DeVries says the cause of the fire is under investigation but the temperature has dropped significantly in North Vancouver and the person might have been trying to warm themselves up.

He says the coroners service is working to identify the person and it is not currently known if the individual was a woman or a man.

He says it's not clear whether anyone other than the deceased person was camping there and no one else was at the scene when police arrived.

DeVries is urging everyone to do what they can to help the homeless, especially as winter weather hits Metro Vancouver.

"If you see homeless people, help them out," he said.

He points to a program started by a fellow North Vancouver RCMP officer, Cpl. Randy Wong, called Warming the Homeless, which delivers socks, toques, mittens and other items to people living on the streets.

When the weather gets cold, police proactively go out and find people who may be homeless and help them find shelter, DeVries added.

"I know that police agencies throughout the Lower Mainland do the same things. It's a sad reality of society that this is the case."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press