Police efforts to arrest a man wanted on outstanding warrants tragically turned into a river search effort on Wednesday afternoon.
On Thursday, the police issued a press release stating 28-year-old Andrew Lee Evans was classified as missing however presumed drowned.
Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, District Advisory NCO (Media Relations) South East District, said in the release that police attended a home in Glenmerry on Wednesday to arrest Evans on several unendorsed arrest warrants.
Evans was seen fleeing upstairs where he jumped from a second storey window. He evaded police and ran into the Columbia River.
The officers notified the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire/Rescue (KBRFR) and its river rescue boat was launched.
From the shoreline, officers observed Evans swimming back towards the shore where he clung to a tree branch while speaking with officers on the river’s edge.
The release said officers tried to convince Evans to exit the river however, Evans swam away from shore.
The officers maintained visual contact until Evans reached the Rock Island rapids where he disappeared from view for a short time. He resurfaced and appeared to be in distress, said the release, before disappearing again.
The KBRFR boat arrived on the scene as Evans disappeared from view for the second time. A search of the area leading to the U.S. border failed to locate Evans. U.S. law enforcement and rescue agencies were notified of the incident.
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO) was notified Wednesday but will not be asserting jurisdiction in the the matter. The IIO investigates officer-related incidents of deaths or serious harm.
Although Evans is presumed drowned, he is listed as missing.
He is five-foot-eight, 135 pounds and wearing a white shirt and green/blue shorts. If the public has any information please contact the Trail and Greater District RCMP.