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

Body of Mary Grant, 67, washed ashore in Oak Bay; suicide suspected

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.

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

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

RCMP ask for public assistance to determine the cause of the the weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

Victoria considers hiring more staff, less public engagement to get bike lanes built faster

An expedited installation of bike lanes could cost an extra $410,000

Lego exhibit fuelled busiest ever January for Sidney Museum

Thousands visit museum over Family Day long weekend, with Lego exhibition on display until March 31

Meet the Greater Victoria athletes in Red Deer for the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Players express gratitude and excitement about representing Team BC

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read