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RCMP investigate circumstances around death of 53-year-old Parksville man

Police ask for witnesses after report of downtown assault
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John Boyce. (Submitted photo)

Police hope to learn more about what happened in the hours prior to the arrest of a man who died in hospital two days after being released from custody in Parksville.

Oceanside RCMP are asking for anyone who may have witnessed a 53-year-old man in the downtown area in Parksville on July 18, according to a news release.

At approximately 6:45 p.m., Oceanside RCMP and BC Ambulance were dispatched to the Craig Street Market in Parksville to assist John Boyce, who reportedly told a witness that he had been assaulted.

According to a police news release, Boyce left the market prior to the arrival of police and ambulance but was located approximately an hour later in nearby Memorial Plaza, where witnesses reported he was causing a disturbance. He was arrested by police and taken to Oceanside RCMP cells.

The next day, July 19, Boyce received medical treatment at hospital and, the press release stated, he died in hospital on the morning of July 22. An autopsy has been scheduled to determine Boyce’s cause of death.

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At this time, the circumstances surrounding Mr. Boyce’s assault have not been determined, said Sgt. Shane Worth of the Oceanside RCMP. Mr. Boyce was known to frequent the Parksville downtown core and investigators are trying to re-trace his movements, including if a potential assault occurred, in the days prior to July 18.

If anyone witnessed Boyce being assaulted or can assist investigators in placing his movements in the days prior to July 18, please contact the Oceanside RCMP at 250-248-6111 quoting file No. 2023-7438.

— NEWS staff

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About the Author: Parksville Qualicum Beach News Staff

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