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'How hard did they look for him?': Father of teen who died of suspected OD questions RCMP response
Published Thursday, August 22, 2019 8:34AM PDT Last Updated Thursday, August 22, 2019 8:36PM PDT
An investigation into the actions of the RCMP surrounding the death of a teenager earlier this month has his father wondering whether the boy could have been saved if he'd been found earlier.
B.C.'s police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office, revealed Wednesday that RCMP were called for a welfare check on the night his 14-year-old son Carson Crimeni died.
According to the IIO, police received a call around 8 p.m. on Aug. 7 from someone who had seen a Snapchat post and had concerns about the welfare of the person they saw in it.
Aron Crimeni said he understands it was a young girl who watched the video and asked her parents what she should do, before they called 911.
"It's good to know at least one person had the sense and compassion to call," Crimeni said.
Ron MacDonald with the IIO told CTV News two uniformed officers in a marked car responded to the area, "but did not locate the youth."
"In this case, the officers were in the vicinity. In this case, there hasn't specifically been any allegation of wrongdoing on their part," MacDonald said, adding that the IIO is mandated to investigate whether action or inaction by officers contributed to Crimeni's death.
MacDonald added that the IIO will be examining the actions of the officers using GPS data, radio calls, and other evidence, and measure that against what might be considered "reasonable" in the circumstances.
"I don't believe (the police) travelled far. How hard did they look for him?" Crimeni asked. "It's heartbreaking to think that they could have got him to the hospital two hours earlier. That might have been the difference."
Langley RCMP declined to comment, while RCMP E Division headquarters deferred questions about the case to the IIO. It is not clear if the officers who initially responded to the 911 call are still working on the investigation into Carson Crimeni's death.
"It's just another 'could have,'" Aron Crimeni told CTV News Vancouver in an interview Wednesday night.
"Another 'could have saved him,' another way he could have been saved, that just didn't take place."
Carson was found in severe medical distress around 10 p.m. His family believes he died of a drug overdose after allegedly taking drugs given to him by another group of teens.
Social media videos shared widely online appeared to show the teen in severe medical distress, leaving troubling questions about why people recorded and shared video instead of getting medical attention for him.
"Do I wish they had found him and saved him? Yes, of course I wish they had. I wish they had done whatever they could to make sure they found a 14-year-old boy in distress and dying. At this point it's just wishing something else had been done," Aron Crimeni said.
Langley RCMP have not responded to CTV's questions about the officers' response that night, including where they searched and how long they stayed.
There have been no charges in the case. RCMP continue to appeal for tips and have set up a dedicated tip line at 604-532-3398.
The IIO is asking anyone who may have seen police in the area that night to contact its witness line at 1-855-446-8477.
IIO investigators will now try to determine what role, if any, the officers' actions or inaction "may have played in the incident that followed."