Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

'Someone out there knew this woman and loved her': VPD desperately search for ID of woman who drowned at Spanish Banks

They have released a video on social media in the hopes that someone will have information.
Anyone who recognizes this woman who was found dead at Spanish Banks is asked to contact VPD.

For over two months Vancouver police have been searching for the identity of a woman who drowned off the coast of Spanish Banks on Sept. 29.

The woman, who was black with short hair and freckles, appears to have been in her 30s. She was wearing a backpack but had no wallet or ID and a blue inflatable kayak with an orange life vest was found floating nearby.

A vial of insulin was also found nearby and investigators believe she may have been a diabetic who suffered medical distress before capsizing and falling into the water. However, they still don't know for sure.

In October, VPD released a composite sketch of the woman in the hopes that someone would recognize her but so far no one has come forward.

Police are now releasing a video on social media in the hopes that it will reach a wider audience and find the identity of the woman.

“Someone out there knew this woman and loved her, but probably doesn’t yet know about her tragic death,” says Sergeant Steve Addison in a press release. “Nobody should die in anonymity, and we’re asking anyone who sees this video to share it with their social networks so we can identify her and inform her loved ones.”

He adds that because they have been unable to identify her they believe her to be a newcomer to Canada or a traveller who hasn't yet been reported missing.

She was found by a tugboat crew around 9 p.m. floating near UBC. She was brought to shore and first responders tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate her.

When asked why the discovery wasn't made public until nearly a month after the body was found, Cst. Tania Vistin explained, "when officers find a body that they aren’t able to identify, several investigative avenues have to be done before publically releasing information.  One avenue is extracting DNA and sending it to the lab. These results take time to get back. In this case, investigators still were not able to get a match from the DNA sent to the lab, so we had a professional artist sketch a composite."

Anyone who recognizes the woman is being asked to call VPD’s Missing Person Unit at 604-717-2533.

This article was originally published Oct. 26, 2022 and has since been updated