A watchdog investigation is underway into the actions of North Yorkshire Police in the hours before a 34-year-old man was found dead in a Scarborough lake.
Gavin Francis Egan, described as a “caring, funny” man with “a big heart”, was found dead in the lake at Peasholm Park at around 11.30am on February 24.
Our investigation will examine how North Yorkshire Police responded to the report by the ambulance service to determine whether the appropriate action was taken.Tom Milsom, IPCC
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has now launched an investigation after it emerged that North Yorkshire Police were told of reports Mr Egan was also pulled from the lake more than seven hours earlier.
According to the IPCC, the force “had been informed by Yorkshire Ambulance Service at around 4.00am that day about a call from a member of the public reporting that a man had been pulled from the same lake”.
The watchdog added: “It would appear the man who had reportedly been pulled from the lake was not subsequently located during the response by the ambulance service and North Yorkshire Police until later that day.”
The IPCC’s investigation will focus on the actions taken by North Yorkshire Police in response to the information from the ambulance service.
IPCC investigators want to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard anyone in the lake, or witnessed the subsequent police search, in Peasholm Park between 4am and 11.30am on February 24.
Associate Commissioner Tom Milsom said: “My sympathies go out to Mr Egan’s family and friends. Our investigation will examine how North Yorkshire Police responded to the report by the ambulance service to determine whether the appropriate action was taken.
“I urge anyone who may have information relating to this incident to contact the IPCC as soon as possible.”
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “North Yorkshire Police referred this incident to the IPCC and it would be inappropriate to comment further while the IPCC investigation is ongoing.”
Many tributes have been paid to Mr Egan since his death. A Facebook page set up in his memory has seen posts from family and friends, paying tribute and sharing memories of the son, brother and uncle.
Niece Olivia Boyle posted: “He had the biggest heart and was one of the most caring, funny men I have ever met.”
Contact can be made with the IPCC via the incident line 0800 151 0020 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.