DAWSON CREEK -- Questions are being raised by the family of a Dawson Creek man who died in police custody while in Mexico.

According to a report from the CBC, Thomas Hempstock was vacationing at a RIU resort in Playa Del Carmen when he was detained by police after hotel staff allege he was exhibiting signs of aggressive behaviour.

On December 12th, Hempstock was taken to a detention centre near the hotel for holding, stripped of his belt and watch.

According to the police report, at 2:35 a.m., a guard noticed Hempstock in a “strange position” while in a holding cell, and upon further examination, found a shoelace tied around his neck. The medical examiner ruling his death as suffocation by hanging, after attempts to revive him failed.

Hempstock’s death, coming just one day after his 32nd birthday.

The CBC reported that an autopsy revealed Hempstock has both alcohol and cocaine in his system.

Talking to the CBC, the family is questioning why his belt and watch were removed but not his shoelaces.

Global Affairs Canada says they are aware of the situation and are providing consular assistance to the family.

They're urging Canadians to exercise caution when travelling to Mexico due to criminal activity.

A GoFundMe page was created to assist the family in bringing Hempstock’s body back to Canada, raising just over $11,000, claiming his travellers insurance did not cover any of the fees.

“We would like you all to know that Thomas has safely made it back to Canada now,” said the fundraiser organizer Jenna Davis on behalf of the family.

A second GoFundMe was created by his sister, Samantha Hempstock, on February 2nd to raise the $4000 needed to hire a lawyer.

“The Mexican Police need to be held accountable for the death of my brother.  There are so many unanswered questions, so many red flags. We need answers,” said Samantha Hempstock.

Hempstock lived in Dawson Creek and worked as a commercial truck driver.

He flew to Playa Del Carmen from Edmonton on December 6th, 2023.