EXCLUSIVE: Death of 23-year-old woman found in Fraser River classified as ‘undetermined’: coroner

The cause of death of Shaelene Keeler Bell of Chilliwack has now been classified as “undetermined” by the BC coroner.

The report is published to black news media Posted by Bell’s mother, Alina Durham, on Thursday, November 10.

“Unfortunately, this is another broken system,” Durham said after receiving the report, some of which she found misleading.

Bell, a 23-year-old mother of two, was last seen on January 30, 2021, and was reported missing to Chilliwack RCMP the next day. Her body was found in the Fraser River near Coquitlam on June 2, 2021.

“Port Authority staff found her in the Fraser River between Patullo and the Port Mann Bridge,” the coroner’s report said. “The autopsy revealed that the cause of death was drowning. In addition, there was no evidence of trauma. Toxicology tests showed the presence of her prescribed medication.”

The immediate cause of death was “drowning or suffocation by drowning”.

The coroner’s report classifies the death as one of five categories: accidental, homicide, natural, suicide or undetermined. Bell’s cause of death has not been determined.

Her vehicle was found at the end of Ballam Road in Chilliwack, near the Fraser River, on February 1, 2021, and she was missing until June 2, 2021, despite an extensive police and community search.

Police found no evidence to support foul play.

“The investigation did not reveal how or when Shaelene Bell entered the water. The family reported that she was a competent swimmer,” the report said. “She attended Chilliwack (General) Hospital on the evening of January 29, 2021, and staff arranged for an outpatient mental health appointment when she sought help with stress.”

Durham commented on the report after reading it.

“There’s a paragraph that’s very misleading. I feel like they’re implying something when we don’t have the facts based on it at all,” she said.

“My heart breaks for Shay. I’m disgusted with our system.”

Do you have anything else we should report?
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

like us Facebook and follow us Twitter.

Missing woman in Chili Wacker Fraser River

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *