09/17/2011 03:22 EDT | Updated 11/17/2011 05:12 EST

Vancouver police investigate suspicious death

Vancouver police are investigating after a woman fell to her death from a hotel on the city's Downtown Eastside Friday evening.

At about 8 p.m. PT, police were called to the 100 block of East Hastings Street after a woman's body was found on the sidewalk outside the Regent Hotel.

Investigators from the VPD Major Crime Section determined the woman fell from a sixth-floor window to her death, landing on the sidewalk below.

The victim has been identified as Verna Simard, 50, who lived in a sixth-floor suite at the hotel. Police say her boyfriend, who was in the suite at the time, is being considered a witness.

"This is a tragic loss of life and our investigators are working hard tonight to determine the circumstances that led up to her death," said Const. Jana McGuinness.

Police are appealing to witnesses to come forward.