WATCH: Police are investigating at a Duncan apartment building, while a local residents group tries to address increasing crime in the community. April Lawrence reports.
The back of the Gala Vista Apartments was surrounded by police tape Sunday and plain clothes detectives were seen coming and going from the building, more than 24 hours after residents first heard sirens.
“There was five cop cars here I think, two ambulance, one over there and then fire trucks, the whole nine yards,” said resident Randy Beedle.
Dave Charlie lives on the third floor, where he says a body was discovered in the hallway early Saturday morning.
“They’re questioning everybody in the apartment and taking pictures of all the cars and people who have been here and who have left,” he said.
The RCMP aren’t talking, and won’t confirm if a body was found there, or if a crime has taken place, but residents are on edge.
“No peace of mind knowing things like that would happen here,” said resident Nenita Gonzales Wong.
The incident comes one a day before a residents group is holding a meeting to address rising crime in the Cowichan Valley.
“Just to show that we are here and we see it and we notice and we care, we want Cowichan back,” said organizer and mom Sarah Senkow.
The meeting takes place Monday, June 12 at 9:00 a.m. at 371 Brae Road in Duncan.
Senkow says an incident in April where a woman was held against her will and beaten at a property on Stamps Road is one of the more frightening examples, but she also says break ins have increased, as has public drug use.
“There’s needles everywhere, it’s really scary,” she said.
“I worked at a daycare and it was in the playground, in the play house,” she said.
Duncan’s mayor admits crime has been on the rise in his community over the past two years.
While he says there are no simple answers, he says the municipality is working with island health and the RCMP’s Community Policing office to address the issue
At the Gala Vista apartments, the police presence has Dave Charlie eager to move his family out.
“We’ve lived here for about a year now, we’ve had three overdoses, deaths, and it’s awful, scary,” he said.
“We’re trying to find a new place to live, we’ve been looking for a while, but same problem as everybody, there’s nothing out there.”
For now, nervous residents will have to wait to see if what happened here is part of the growing number of crimes in their community.