Police believe that there are members of the Port Alberni community who have information that can help an investigation into the death of a six-year-old boy. (Wikimedia commons photo)
As a community mourns the sudden loss of a six-year-old boy, the Port Alberni RCMP are reaching out to the public for any details related to the death.
At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 13 the RCMP responded to a report of a child in medical distress at a Port Alberni residence. The boy was transported to hospital, but sadly did not survive.
Police and the BC Coroner’s Service began an investigation that continued over the following two weeks.
“The child’s death is being treated as suspicious and the investigation is ongoing,” stated the Port Alberni RCMP in a news release on Wednesday (March 28).
The release noted that police believe there are people who have information regarding the death of the child, and ask for the public’s assistance as the investigation continues.
“We are imploring anyone who has any information about this tragic death or who’ve since learned anything that may help investigators, to do the right thing and come forward,” said Corp. Amelia Hayden in the RCMP release.
The boy had family connections to both the Ahousaht and Hesquiaht communities. In a statement from the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, President Judith Sayers and Vice-President Andrew Callicum emphasized the need for members of the public to support the RCMP in their investigation.
“The NTC is working in close communication with the Port Alberni RCMP and encourage anyone with information to come forward to help with their investigation so they can rule conclusively in this death,” said Sayers and Callicum.
The child attended the Haahuupayak Elementary School on the Tseshaht reserve. After hearing of his passing on March 13 the school sent a notice to parents announcing that classes were cancelled for the remainder of the week out of respect for the family.
“Our continued thoughts and prayers are with the families and community members during this challenging time,” added Sayers and Callicum. “We once again ask the public and media to respect the family’s wishes for privacy as they grieve and process the loss of their loved one.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. Carroll of the Port Alberni RCMP at 250-723-2424 or Alberni Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS).