Watchdog investigates after B.C. woman found dead in home, despite police check

North Vancouver RCMP did a welfare check and reported her missing two days before

North Vancouver RCMP reported Elizabeth Joanna Napierala as missing on Sept. 3, 2019. She was found dead in her home on Sept. 5, 2019. (RCMP handout)

North Vancouver RCMP reported Elizabeth Joanna Napierala as missing on Sept. 3, 2019. She was found dead in her home on Sept. 5, 2019. (RCMP handout)

B.C.’s police watchdog is investigating after a woman was found dead in her North Vancouver home, even though Mounties had checked the dwelling two days before.

The RCMP conducted a welfare check at the home of Elizabeth Joanna Napierala, 45, on Sept. 3, and could not find her. They issued a news release that same day, reporting her as missing and asking the public for help.

The news release said Napierala was last seen on Sept. 2, and that she suffers from health conditions that “leave her vulnerable to being outside and prone to falling down.” Her weight was listed as 69 lbs. on a 5’8” frame.

Two days later, the RCMP informed the Independent Investigations Office that Napierala had been found at home. She was later declared deceased.

READ MORE: Police watchdog investigats two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

The office, which looks into incidents of serious harm or death involving police in B.C., is investigating what role, if any, the police’s actions or inaction may have had in the woman’s death.

Chief civilian director Ron MacDonald said Mounties were the ones to find her, but declined to comment on the circumstances that led them back to her home.

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