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Police watchdog investigating after death of Port Alberni senior

Brian Watkins was found dead in his car, which was submerged in Sproat Lake
First responders were parked outside of a driveway on Lakeshore Road on Friday, Dec. 15. (ELENA RARDON / Alberni Valley News)

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is investigating after the death of a senior in Port Alberni.

Port Alberni senior Brian Watkins was reported missing on Dec. 13, 2023 and was found dead two days later in his car, which was submerged in Sproat Lake.

READ MORE: Missing senior from Port Alberni found dead

The IIO says that Port Alberni RCMP had responded at about 6:45 p.m. on Dec. 13 to a call concerned about the well-being of an elderly man driving a green Pontiac Sunfire. An officer reportedly located and spoke to the man around 8:40 p.m.

At about 10:25 p.m., RCMP received another call reporting that the man had not returned home. Police again searched for the man, but the search ended on Dec. 15 when he was located deceased in his vehicle near a property on Lakeshore Road.

The IIO says it will be investigating the details of the interaction between Watkins and an officer, as well as where the man went after speaking to the officer.

The police watchdog is asking any person who observed the green Pontiac Sunfire between 8:45 p.m. on Dec. 13 and 12 p.m. on Dec. 15 to contact the IIO via the Witness Line at 1-855-446-8477. Witnesses can also use the contact form on the website.

About the Author: Alberni Valley News Staff

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