News

UPDATE: Police talked to woman hours before body found in McNeill Bay

A Saanich police forensics officer looks for clues on the beach at McNeill Bay Wednesday night after a woman
A Saanich police forensics officer looks for clues on the beach at McNeill Bay Wednesday night after a woman's body washed up on shore. Police confirmed Thursday that suicide was the cause of death of Oak Bay resident Mary Grant.
— image credit: Sharon Tiffin/News staff

Mary Grant was out for a walk at 2 a.m. Wednesday, when Const. Bill Bellwood stopped to see whether she was OK.

Nine hours later, 67-year-old Grant's body was found washed up among the driftwood on McNeill Bay beach. Police say she committed suicide.

In the early hours of Wednesday, an Oak Bay resident knocked at the door of the Oak Bay Police Department to report seeing an elderly woman walking on Victoria Avenue in her housecoat.

Bellwood went to investigate. He came across Grant, who was not wearing a housecoat, but a long coat.

"She was very lucid, very alert, very upbeat and happy," said Deputy Chief Kent Thom. "When (Bellwood) spoke with her, she said she was just out for a walk and that's a little unusual for a 67-year-old lady.

"She said she quite often went out for a walk during the night."

Grant, a caregiver, was just a few blocks from her home on Granite Street. Bellwood felt convinced she didn't need a ride home and wasn't acting strangely. A search through police records revealed no history of mental illness or run-ins with police, Thom said.

Bellwood left the area.

At 11:15 a.m., two people walking along the beach at McNeill Bay spotted a body washed ashore. They called Oak Bay police.

Working with investigators from Saanich Police Department and a coroner, officers determined today (Thursday) the body was that of Grant.

"Of course we had a difficult time identifying who this person was," Thom said. "It was after Bill found out that this female body had washed up on shore (that he mentioned) he had dealt with someone of same description (earlier that day)."

Foul play is not suspected, said acting Staff Sgt. Scott Treble of Saanich police.

"This is a suicide," he said. "Every indication is this is a suicide.

"There were some documents later found at her home in Oak Bay the night of the investigation that consisted of some instructions. ... Whatever the actual cause of her death was, she had already come to the determination that that was what she wanted to do."

Saanich police are handling the case under a mutual aid agreement with Oak Bay police.

ecardone@vicnews.com

–with files from Kyle Slavin

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Soldier killed in Parliament Hill siege
 
Employees of Chances officially off the job
 
Profile: Port Alberni mayoral candidate Jacques Savard
Remembrance Day comes early with mural of the fallen
 
STARRs receive four awards at the 10K Cobble Hill run
 
Fire burns old high school library in Alberni
The Week — Jan. 19
 
Who wants to be a mayor?
 
Helicopter noise unavoidable at airport

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 22 edition online now. Browse the archives.