WATCH: Gofundme page started for young family after 30-year-old father found dead near Sayward over the weekend. Tess van Straaten has the latest.
People on Vancouver Island are rallying around a young family that was hit by tragedy over the weekend.
The body of a 30-year-old man was found near Sayward and police are investigating the death as suspicious.
The body was found inside a grey Honda Accord that was parked beside a one-way bridge on the way into the small community near Campbell River.
“I had suspicion but I thought, nah, people go fishing go down there and hiking and you often see the same cars,” says Sayward resident Cheryl McMillan.
At first, witnesses didn’t think anything of it but after a few days they became increasingly concerned.
“I drove by and the same car was there and I noticed there was the window down a little bit and I thought, gee that’s kinda weird the window’s down and it’s raining,” McMillan told CHEK News.
Friends have identified the victim as Dillon Brown, a featherweight MMA fighter known as ‘Tomahawk‘.
Brown is described as a “dedicated father of two” and he leaves behind a partner who just found out she’s pregnant.
Brown didn’t have any life insurance, so the community is now rallying to help the family through this tragedy, launching a gofundme page.
Dozens of people have already donated, with the goal of raising $10,000 to help the family through this difficult time.
RCMP appeal for witnesses to help solve mysterious death
The incident has rocked the communities of Sayward and Campbell River and there are still more questions than answers.
It’s not yet clear if foul play is involved but the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit is taking the lead on the case.
As the investigation continues, police are appealing for witnesses to come forward to help them solve this mystery and piece together the timeline leading up to the victim’s death.
In particular, they’re looking for anyone who saw the car, a grey Honda Civic with B.C. plate BR1 26G, between 1pm Friday and 7:45pm Saturday.
RCMP say the victim was last seen leaving a residence in Campbell River early Friday afternoon.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Sayward RCMP at 250-282-5522 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).