POLITICS

Master Cpl. Denis Demers takes own life 2 weeks after standoff

09/16/2014 04:30 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:54 EDT
A Canadian soldier involved in a 40-hour standoff with police in late August committed suicide last week, CBC News has learned.

Master Cpl. Denis Demers, 44, was a medical technician working with 2 Field Ambulance. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2002 and was sent on tours to Afghanistan in 2008 and 2010, according to the Department of National Defence.

His body was found in Petawawa, Ont., near Barron Canyon Road — not far from his home on Labine Crescent — on Sept. 12 at about 7:30 p.m., OPP said.

Foul play is not suspected and the coroner's office is now investigating, OPP said.

It comes about two weeks after Demers was involved in a long standoff with police at his home.

The standoff began after military police responded to a domestic call on Aug. 28. OPP were later called in to assist, along with tactical officers.

Demers was finally taken into custody under the Mental Health Act on Aug. 30.

Demers missing before body found

Just days before Demers's body was found, family members had expressed concern on Facebook that Demers was missing.

"The loss of any soldier is devastating to the military community and our condolences go out to his family and friends," the defence department said in an email statement. 

"The death did not take place on DND property and is currently under investigation by the OPP. As such, it is inappropriate for us to comment on the investigation."

According to DND, in cases of suspected suicide the Canadian Forces Health Services conducts an initial medical record review. When suicide is determined to be the official cause of death, the CFHS initiates a medical professional technical suicide review a few days to a week following the death.

"This review is an in-depth medical review conducted by a two-person team ... These clinicians interview family, friends, colleagues, the chain of command, and health care providers in order to gain an understanding of the circumstances surrounding the death," a DND spokesperson said in an email.

"Lessons learned can be used to improve the CAF suicide prevention program or other health services programs. To date, numerous such reviews have been completed and the findings have provided greater insight into suicide in the CAF and how to enhance the already high-quality mental health care provided by the CAF."