Students pay tribute to Delta, B.C., teenager as police investigate suspicious death
A memorial is growing at a Delta, B.C., high school after the sudden death of one of its students.
Maaike Blom, a 17-year-old who attended Delta Secondary, was reported missing over the weekend, and her body was discovered by police Tuesday.
Investigators are calling her death suspicious, but have given few other details.
On Wednesday, Blom’s classmates described her as bubbly and funny.
“She just was really kind, and didn't deserve anything that happened to her,” said Taylor Hughes, a friend and classmate of Blom’s.
“When I heard that she went missing, it was really surreal," she added. "You're hanging out with someone like the day before, still Snapchatting them and talking to them, like right before they pass."
A stuffed bear, flowers, candles and pictures have been placed outside her school in her honour. Notes reading “Rest in peace" and “Forever in our hearts” were also left behind by her classmates.
“She was an artist. She really loves spray paint," Hughes said. "(In) the downstairs of her house, her mom let her spray paint her Tsawwassen First Nations Band on the wall."
She said she last heard from Blom on Friday.
“It wasn't anything out of the ordinary," Hughes said. "She sent videos all the time. All the time. So it was basically just like a video of her all dressed up. She was in a dress and she was going to hang out with her friends."
Blom was last seen by her family at home Friday, and was reported missing Sunday.
Police said her absence was out of character and announced her disappearance the following day.
Then Tuesday, in a heartbreaking discovery, her body was found inside a home on Tsawwassen First Nations land.
Blom lived in that community, though police have not said how far the home she was found in was from her own.
Authorities said a man was taken into custody in connection with her death, but has since been released.
They haven’t said how he may have known her.
Investigators are not calling Blom’s death a homicide, but said it is considered suspicious, and the investigation is still in its early stages.
Counselling support was offered to students and staff impacted by the tragedy Wednesday.
In a statement, the school district told CTV News: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Maaike Blom. Maaike was a much-loved student who had strong connections with her peers."
Hughes said Blom will be greatly missed, and that her heart goes out to her grieving family.
“I am so sorry. You shouldn't have to go through losing a kid at like 17 years old. Wake up with them and they're not there one day,” said the teen through tears.
“It's so lonely to lose someone,” she added.
Police believe the teen’s death was isolated and there is no ongoing risk to the public.
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