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RCMP investigating death of bullied teen
Police will be monitoring social media as part of an investigation into the death of a teen that's being blamed on cyberbullying.
Lower Mainland District RCMP announced Friday afternoon the circumstances surrounding the the Oct. 10th suicide death of 15-year-old Amanda Todd are being thoroughly investigated.
“Serious crime teams in Coquitlam and Ridge Meadows are working together, conducting interviews and reviewing any potential contributing factors to her death,” said Sgt. Peter Thiessen, spokesperson for Lower Mainland District RCMP Regional Police Service.
Coquitlam Serious Crime investigators are asking people with information related to the investigation to share it via email. Send a description of the pertinent information, their name and contact information to AmandaTODDinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
The B.C. Coroners Service is also investigating her death.
Last month, Todd posted a video on Youtube called, "My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm."
In the video, Todd describes how she was bullied online and at school, about her struggles with drugs and alcohol and harming herself. She also describes an incident where she was attacked and taunted at school.
Todd grew up in Maple Ridge before moving to Port Coquitlam to escape the bullying she endured while attending school locally.
Theissen said investigators are also reviewing and actively monitoring social media, and that Coquitlam Detachment’s victim services remain engaged with the teen’s family.
Tributes to the teen are pouring in via YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
“This is a devastating tragedy, which impacts the community as a whole. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of this young person,” added Thiessen.
He acknowledged that there is significant concern regarding the role bullying could have played in Todd's death, but says it is too soon for police to comment on the issue.
“However, B.C. RCMP has publicly stated in the past that bullying ranks second, behind substance abuse, for youth issues identified as concerns by our detachments,” he said.
Theissen added that everyone in the community has a role in helping to keep schools bully free and to report any acts of bullying or assist those who are victims of bullying.
Parents should always try to keep open lines of communication with their children so they are comfortable coming forward if they are being bullied at school.
• Investigators are asking the public to share a description of the pertinent information, their name and contact information a via email at AmandaTODDinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca or call Ridge Meadows RCMP at 604-463-6251. To remain anonymous call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip online at www.bccrimestoppers.com.
• A number of resources are available to youth and their parents through www.deal.org. These include facts on what bullying is, why people bully and who they target and how parents can deal with their child, whether they are being bullied or are the ones doing the bullying. Other recommended resources include www.bullying.org or www.cyberbullying.ca.