Officials removed a body from the area near the Black Bridge in Duncan about 11 a.m. Thursday, July 5.
RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Tammy Douglas and the BC Coroners Service said the authorities are investigating the discovery of a body of a man in his 50s who was found in a tent.
“Due to the privacy of the deceased, we do not confirm or release identity,” said a statement from the BC Coroners Service.
“We are still in the early stages of our investigation.”
The family of Ben Kilmer, who went missing in the area west of Duncan in late May, confirmed in a statement posted to the Find Ben Kilmer group on Facebook that the body is not his.
“We have been informed that a body was found and recovered in Duncan near Black Bridge,” it reads. “The RCMP has been on touch with our family to confirm that the deceased is not Ben Kilmer.
“We also wish to address a number of false rumours that have circulated over the past week suggesing that Ben has been found or that his whereabouts [are] known. These statements are all false. Ben remains missing and we continue to search for him.
A couple of police officers, a coroner, and several paramedics were on scene near the Black Bridge on Thursday morning, behind yellow police tape.
A nearby resident called the Citizen after seeing police and the coroner on the railway tracks behind the Duncan RV Park and Campground.
“One of them had a pink mask, perhaps to prevent the smell coming through, but afterwards those four coroners were all dressed in those paper coveralls. They put some ropes down the bank and hauled up what looked like a body bag,” he said. “It was probably about 8 o’clock this morning I saw police officers standing on the tracks, and it’s taken about three hours until now.”
He said he had no idea who had called the RCMP but then added, “Several days ago I noticed a lady walking along the tracks towards the dike accompanied by a police officer. They went up to approximately the same location. I’m not sure what became of that. It seemed like nothing at the time but they were in a similar location. It was a middle-aged woman who was carrying a backpack; she seemed like she had been on a walk or something like that and had noticed something unusual, maybe a smell, and had notified the police. But maybe they didn’t notice it or look down the bank. I’m not sure.”