Police suspect foul play in Cowichan Tribes death

Police are looking at foul play in relation to a death on the Cowichan Tribes reserve land Monday, Jan. 20.

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP were called to a home on Mulaqw Road just before 5 a.m. after reports of an assault.

They arrived to find a 53-year-old man with serious injuries.

“First aid measures were started by police immediately, and the man was transported to hospital but ultimately succumbed to his injuries,” said a news release issued by RCMP spokesman Cpl. Chris Manseau. “Initial investigation at the scene has led investigators to believe that foul play was involved in the man’s death.”

The investigation is now with the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) and local RCMP as well as the BC Coroners service.

Police maintain the incident is not at all related to the Dec. 24 double homicide.

“This tragic incident coming so soon after the Christmas Eve tragedy has shocked and saddened the public says North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Insp. Chris Bear. “I ask that if any members of our communities have information that could assist in this investigation to please contact VIIMCU or the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.”

The VIIMCU information line is 250-380-6211 and the detachment is 250-748-5522.

Cowichan Tribes chief William “Chip” Seymour (Squtxulenuhw) acknowledged the incident.

“We’ve had a loss in our community,” he said. “Anything tragic always shakes everything up. It gets people worried about what’s going on and why things like this happen.”

Seymour said he’d known the victim for a long time.

“I did know him,” Seymour said. “He actually played soccer for me. I was a coach years and years ago. I knew him well.”

Seymour is expecting an update from the RCMP.

“I haven’t heard from the RCMP at all,” he said. “From what I understand the major crimes unit is still down in that area doing some investigation so I’ve asked them to make sure they keep me updated.”

Out of respect for the family, some of which have yet to be notified, members of the Cowichan Tribes community have opted not to post anything about the matter on social media.

Sarah

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