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Almost 100 witnesses spoke to police in lethal youth overdose investigation: RCMP

The head of the Langley RCMP detachment shared some information about the ongoing investigation into the death of Carson Crimeni this week, thanking the community for coming forward with information.

“We’re very pleased with the response from the community,” said Supt. Murray Power, officer in charge of the Langley RCMP.

There have been close to 100 statements from teens and adults made to investigators so far, Power said.

Police have been building up a picture of what happened to Crimeni, who was 14 when he died of an apparent overdose not far from his Walnut Grove home on Aug. 7.

Disturbing video clips shared to social media just before his death showed Carson barely able to stand or speak at the Walnut Grove skate park that day, while older teens laughed.

“We have a very good understanding of everyone who was there,” said Power.

Toxicology results are not yet completed from Crimeni’s autopsy, but Power warned that the risk remains very real when it comes to youth and drugs.

“It’s going to become unfortunately more common, the risk to our youth with these kinds of drugs out on the streets,” said Power.

Police have been working proactively, Power said, including looking at the entire area around the skate park, Walnut Grove Secondary, and the fields and trail system nearby.

“We’ve put extra efforts on patrolling up there,” said Power.

One of the key things is that citizens who see anything concerning call the police, he said.

There were two calls about Carson Crimeni the evening of his death. First responders discovered him after the second call. the Independent Investigations Office is looking into the first call, which came in earlier in the evening. Two officers tried but failed to locate Crimeni at the skate park.

READ MORE: Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teens suspected overdose

The impact of Carson’s death was felt among teens all over the community, said Cpl. Craig van Herk, head of the Langley RCMP Youth Unit.

“We had youth all over the city that were affected,” he said.

Reactions from teens were similar to those from the general public, with a range of emotions expressed to officers – concern, disgust, anger, sadness, and frustration, said van Herk.

The Youth Unit members were also affected by Crimeni’s death – one of them knew him personally from work at Walnut Grove Secondary.

“The same as everyone else,” he said of officer reactions to the boy’s death. “It was an emotional rollercoaster.”

Now that school is back in session, that’s where the officers of the eight-member unit can most often be found, but in the summer they are often out at playgrounds.

Van Herk noted that he has a big box of cheap plastic hockey sticks in his office, for pickup games of parking lot hockey. The unit has also used a remote control car, given away plastic sunglasses, and started ongoing youth clubs and activities to engage with teens and adolescents from around the community.

“We’ve had Nerf battles,” van Herk noted.

The ultimate goal is to be approachable, he said.

While the unit started the back to school year with a focus on the Walnut Grove area, they’re trying to come up with new ways to engage with kids from all over the community.

Matthew Claxton

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Matthew Claxton

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