News

UPDATED: Foul play ruled out in Nelson death

Members of the RCMP
Members of the RCMP's clandestine lab team were on scene at 401 West Innes on Sunday morning cleaning up the scene where police continue their investigation into the sudden death of a 33-year-old man.
— image credit: Bob Hall photo

Police continue to investigate the sudden death of a man in a Rosemont home being used as a drug lab.

The BC Coroners Service has identified him as Andrew John Meisner, 33. The Star has learned he lived alone in the split-level, three-bedroom home with two pit bulls since last March. He told his landlords he had a contracting business.

Friends who had been unable to reach him found him dead in his home Friday. He's believed to have died the previous day but it's not clear how. Foul play has now been ruled out. Police responded to the call at about 8:30 p.m. along with paramedics.

Meisner's parents are believed to be en route from New Brunswick. His father Gord is a former RCMP officer.

Meisner graduated from L.V. Rogers in 1997. His older brother Geoff went missing from West Kelowna in 2009. In an affidavit filed in court to have him declared dead, his wife said Geoff was a drug dealer with ties to the Hells Angels. Geoff formerly lived in Nelson and sold vitamin supplements.

Nelson police Sgt. Janet Scott-Pryke said in a news release that based on initial observations of the home — a duplex at the corner of Robertson and West Innes — they suspected a drug lab was present.

After consulting the RCMP and Nelson Fire Department, they determined there was likely no immediate danger to the public, but "in order to preserve the integrity" of the investigation, residents of the other unit in the duplex were asked to leave. The occupants of a house behind the duplex were also briefly evacuated, but have since returned home.

The RCMP's clandestine lab team from Surrey was called out and arrived at 6 p.m. Saturday to begin the investigation along with members of the Nelson Police Department, Nelson Fire Department, BC Ambulance, and the RCMP's forensic identification and road safety units.

"There was a clandestine lab in operation in the home that appears to have been manufacturing prescription and/or restricted drugs," Scott-Pryke said in the statement. "No dangerous or noxious chemicals were located or recovered."

The preliminary investigation has been completed, she said, but police are providing only limited information "so as not to compromise the coroner's and/or the police and fire investigations."

Police chief Wayne Holland added in an email to the Star that "there is absolutely nothing for the residents of that neighborhood, or the citizens of Nelson in general, to be concerned about as regards their health or their personal safety" as a result of the incident.

Meisner's landlord told the Star he was a good tenant who paid his rent early. They haven't been allowed into the home yet to assess the damage. His dogs are believed to have been taken to a local boarding kennel.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available. Do you have anything to add? Send it to editor@nelsonstar.com.

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