Family of a man found dead, near the same spot where police or anybody last saw him six weeks prior, want to know why it took so long to find him.
Darryll Daniels’ body was found on Nov. 11, in Waskasoo Creek near the intersection of Taylor Drive and 32nd Street. He was last seen alive on Oct. 6.
Darryll’s mother, Marjorie, said that he usually came past their home every few days. By Oct. 10, Marjorie knew something bad had happened to Darryll.
“I had to check on him. I’ve walked these woods thinking that he was hurt and trying to get home,” said Marjorie
She spent the next two weeks scouring the woods between Highland Green and Riverside Meadows, near the family’s home.
For four or five hours every day, the retired pensioner walked the woods looking for her lost son, nicknamed “Native D.”
“I hope no other parent ever has to go through this,” said Marjorie. “I was looking every where for him.
“He would always come and make sure the girls were OK. He would stop at Loaves and Fishes and bring them muffins. If anybody gave him any girl’s stuff he’d be right here thinking they might like some jewelry. He was always thinking of others.”
Marjorie found out her son had died through unconventional means. She said she found out about her son’s death after a friend of Darryll’s from jail called a friend of hers. Marjorie’s friend then called her.
“That’s how I got the news,” said Marjorie. “I don’t even know anyone in jail.”
Marjorie said she was unable to get missing persons report filed at first. A friend of hers posted to Facebook that Darryll was missing to start the search and a few days later she got a message from another friend directing her to missing persons at the police station.
“The police finally got involved around Oct. 20. It was two weeks before anyone cared.”
A missing person press release from the Red Deer RCMP was released on Oct. 21 saying Darryll was last seen on Oct. 6.
“They were the last to see him. They knew where he was,” said Marjorie.
“I realize he was homeless, I realize he had addictions, I realize he had issues, but I know him. He was very loved.”
Red Deer RCMP may have been among the last people to see Daniels alive. According to their investigation, Mounties believe Daniels was involved in an incident near where his body was found on Oct. 6. Police officers were following a stolen vehicle and when the vehicle did not stop, police ended their pursuit.
A short time later the vehicle was seen again and followed. The vehicle stopped in the area of 32nd Street and Taylor Drive and two people fled into the woods. Police attempted to locate the individuals, but were unsuccessful.
On Nov. 11, RCMP members conducted a search of the same wooded area and found Daniels. According to Daniels’ autopsy, there is no evidence he died of any physical injury or because of direct contact with the police.
The second person in the vehicle that fled into the woods on Oct. 6 was found and interviewed.
Red Deer RCMP are not commenting as the matter is currently under investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team.
On Saturday, at the family home on Halman Cres., a memorial will be held for Darryll. Marjorie said it will also include a missing and murdered indigenous persons and homeless elements.
Darryll had no children of his own, but loved his nieces. Sometimes he stayed at his family’s house in Highland Green, but “He was basically homeless, because there is no help for our homeless,” said Marjorie. “If you’re not a mother with children or someone with an income, they don’t have much to help the homeless.
“There’s more help for them when they’re dead then when they are alive.”
So far she has received some financial help to bury Darryll, but there wasn’t much before his death to help him survive.
“As a family we tried to stay together as best we could,” said Marjorie. “He didn’t have the healthiest lifestyle. I couldn’t have that around the grandkids, but he’d always come and get leftovers. You do the best you can with what you have to work with.”
The investigation is now in the hands of ASIRT, who are working to determine whether or not any acts or omissions by police officers contributed to Daniels’ death.