Indigenous people ‘invisible’ to police, family says, after missing Vancouver man confirmed dead

After spending the last two weeks papering downtown Vancouver with missing person posters of Darius Smallboy, the young Indigenous man’s family has just learned he was lying dead in a city morgue the entire time.

Smallboy’s family is now speaking out about what they allege was an indifferent response from the Vancouver Police Department and an unacceptable delay in identifying his body.

“He was a good kid and it just feels like he didn’t matter to the VPD,” his aunt, Jamie Smallboy, told CBC.

“Sadly, that’s the way it is for Indigenous people. We’re invisible to them. We’re not a priority in any way.”

Darius Smallboy, 23, was last seen leaving his apartment building near Fraser Street and Broadway on Nov. 3.

On Thursday, the family was informed that a passerby had found Smallboy close to death in the Downtown Eastside on Nov. 4. He died the same day, but it has taken this long to identify the body, despite the family’s efforts to draw attention to the case.

A spokesperson for the B.C. Coroners Office confirmed that Smallboy’s death is under investigation, but said he was unable to provide any further information while the case is still open.


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