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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Manslaughter charge laid in case of B.C. 14-year-old’s apparent overdose death

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Vancouver –

More than two years after the death of a B.C. teenager, a charge has been approved against someone who was a minor at the time.

Mounties in Langley announced Thursday that a man who is now 20 years old has been charged with manslaughter in the death of Carson Crimeni.

The identity of the accused has not been released, as he was a youth at the time of the 14-year-old’s death. Police say a warrant for his arrest was issued by the B.C. Provincial Court.

The accused then turned himself in, when he found out there was a warrant, the Langley RCMP said. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 20.

Crimeni died in August 2019 of an apparent overdose. According to his family, the autopsy on the boy’s body found no obvious cause of death, and toxicology testing was ordered to determine what happened.

The results of that testing have not been made public.

His family members believe he died as a result of peer pressure from other teenagers. They say the other teens pressured Crimeni to take the drugs that led to his overdose at the Walnut Grove skate park.

Police did not provide any further details on what led to the arrest, including what role the accused is alleged to have played in Crimeni’s death, beyond the charge itself.

The RCMP said there is a publication ban in place limiting the amount of information that can be released.

The teen’s family spoke to CTV News earlier this year, as the two-year anniversary approached, and expressed their frustration that time at the lack of charges.

Crimeni’s father said it gave the appearance that the legal system thought, “a child with a lethal amount of drugs is acceptable.”

Even at the teen’s funeral, an event attended by a large crowd of people who knew the boy, his father and other family members spoke about peer pressure and condemned those who’d been with Crimeni that night.

His sister described him as a good kid who was eager to impress.

“(He was) just trying to fit in and have friends who loved him,” she said at his funeral, of her brother’s final moments. Speaking to Crimeni, she said she hoped he could see how many people attended – evidence of how many people did love him.

Crimeni was found in the park the day he died after a video was posted to the social media app SnapChat, which appeared to show him in medical distress. Someone who saw the clip called police.

Two officers went to the park, but couldn’t find the teen and left. He was found two hours later and rushed to hospital, where he died.

B.C.’s police watchdog was tasked at the time with investigating police actions, but determined the officers were not negligent, and no charges were recommended.

In the days after Crimeni’s death, a recovered addict and advocate told CTV News the death was a reminder for parents to talk to their kids, and let them know that what they see online or hear from peers may not be true.

Guy Felicella’s advice to parents was to avoid pointed questions, which could be seen as accusations or could end the discussion. Instead, he recommended parents and guardians approach the topic as part of a general conversation, as a way of assessing a child or teen’s knowledge and experience. 

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