Police stand outside a residence of the Woodlands Heights trailer park on Old Lakelse Lake Drive in Thornhill

Police stand outside a residence of the Woodlands Heights trailer park on Old Lakelse Lake Drive in Thornhill

Police probe Thornhill death

POLICE have descended on a residence in the Woodland Trailer Park in upper Thornhill to investigate the death of an elderly man.

  • Nov. 4, 2011 11:00 a.m.

POLICE and firefighters have descended on a residence in the Woodland Trailer Park in upper Thornhill to investigate the death of an elderly man.

Bill Rieben was found at his small mobile home earlier today.

He’s described by a distant relative as being a recluse in his 80s.

He kept to himself, no wife, no kids,” said Bob Erb.

Exact details are now being put together but there are reports the circumstances involve a fire although Rieben’s residence itself is not damaged.

RCMP officers on the scene said it was too early to comment.

I hope it’s not foul play” said Erb.

Erb said Rieben lived a very quiet and frugal lifestyle.

He was a scrounger. Always tinkering, but more on the mechanical end than anything else,” said Erb.

People living nearby Rieben also described him as quiet and rarely seen.

At the scene this afternoon were six police cars – two unmarked – a fire truck and numerous police officers.

RCMP officers have taped off almost a whole block of mobile homes.

A neighbour said her daughter saw an ambulance pull away from the scene at around 12:30 this afternoon.

The BC Coroner Service is now investigating the death.

“It is still early in the investigation. We are yet unable to determine the cause of death. Fire was

somehow involved, but it is unknown how,” says Cpl Mike Dame of the Terrace General Investigation Unit.

Rieben’s body was discovered outside of his trailer in Woodlands Height Trailer Park today by a passerby at about noon, police said.

The passerby saw something suspicious and smoking. Upon closer examination he discovered it was a body.

Foul play has not been ruled out, police add.

If you have information about this crime contact the Terrace RCMP at (250)638-7400 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-800-222-TIPS. Or a Tip can be left anonymously online at www.bccrimestoppers.com