By News Editor Aislinn Cottell
The BC Coroners Service has identified the body of a man found lying between two cars at the Budget Car and Truck Rentals on Terminal Avenue on January 2 as Jerry Patrick Jimmy. The Coroner reports that Jimmy, 27, died on January 1, although his body was not found until approximately 8 am the next morning, according to a Budget employee who asked not to be identified.
The temperature on Sunday night was estimated to be about -11°C with wind chill, and Kevan Griffith, shelter coordinator of the Unitarian Winter Shelter, said he is concerned about weather being a possible contributing factor to this and possible future incidents.
“We’ve got some drinkers that don’t make it back and fall asleep for a couple hours, and then come in, but in this weather falling asleep can be fatal.”
He says that the area where Jimmy was found is a known hang out for the homeless.
Lyn Blenkinsop, acting regional coroner, said that the investigation is just getting started, and they do not yet know how Jimmy died.
The Independent Investigations Office was contacted early on in the investigation to determine whether the death had any connection to police actions, but determined that none exist. Some sources have told CTV News that Jimmy may have been seen at a party earlier in the day, although these reports are unconfirmed.
According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, the Nanaimo Serious Crime Unit is investigating. Police have not indicated whether foul play is suspected.
“At this point it’s too early to say what caused death,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release. “We have to determine if there’s any criminality. If there’s not criminality, then the case will be turned over to the BC Coroners Service.”
Aislinn is a third year Bachelor of Arts and Science student majoring in creative writing and minoring in chemistry. New to The Nav team this year, she’s enjoying finding out about all the interesting things happening on campus. Her hobbies include reading, drawing, Netflix, and the copious consumption of coffee.