SIU Terminates Investigation into Woman’s Death in Springwater
(9 October, 2020) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into the death of a 29-year-old woman that occurred last month in Springwater.
On September 16, 2020, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the SIU to report that a woman had been found deceased on Highway 26 outside of Midhurst at about 10:50 p.m. on September 15, 2020. It was their information at the time that an off-duty OPP officer who was traveling north on Highway 26 came across the body on the roadway and made contact with the body even as he swerved to avoid it. The SIU commenced an investigation.
Director Martino said, “Based on the SIU’s preliminary inquiries, which included a forensic examination of the scene and the vehicle the officer had been operating, a review of information derived from the autopsy, an examination of the relevant 911 and police radio communications, and video recordings from two restaurants that captured the woman walking a dog northbound on the highway minutes before her death, I am satisfied that there is patently nothing further to investigate as far as the potential criminal liability of the officer is concerned in connection with this matter. While the initial information provided to the SIU suggested the officer had struck the body, and therefore conceivably contributed to the woman’s death, the SIU’s examination of the officer’s vehicle failed to turn up any indicia of contact between the vehicle and the woman. In the circumstances, as there is no evidence that the officer did, in fact, strike the woman, the investigation is hereby discontinued and the file is closed.”
The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
- publicly report the results of its investigations
Lisez ce communiqué en français.
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342