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The RCMP is investigating the death of a teenage girl in Duncan last week.
According to a statement from police released today, the investigation was initiated on May 15 after officers were contacted by paramedics.
A 15-year-old girl had been found in the 5300 block of Trans Canada Hwy in a “semi-conscious state under suspicious circumstances.”
Sadly, she eventually passed away.
Posts on Facebook from the victim’s mother identify her as Carsyn MacKenzie. She says her daughter was found covered in leaves, twigs and other debris.
"Thanks to your voices, they are investigating her death and no longer just 'retracing her steps.' It didn’t sit right with me that they claimed her death 'non criminal in nature or unsuspicious.' My daughter didn’t put that pallet, leaves, twigs and garbage on herself," her mother wrote today.
The RCMP said that “due the nature of how she was found,” a “fulsome investigation” is needed to determine the circumstances that led to her death.
Police said that as the girl is still protected under the Privacy Act, they are “not in a position to provide any further information regarding her medical profile.”
Police also addressed rumours about the cause of death that are spreading online.
“While police can’t share further details to safeguard the integrity of this investigation, investigators are also aware of rumours and speculations circulating online about the possible cause of death. Police would like to remind the public to be prudent to appropriately source their information,” said the department.
“We are grateful to those who have come forward to provide information to advance this investigation thus far," says Inspector Chris Bear, Officer in Charge of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.
“We also understand that this is a very emotional and difficult time for those affected by this tragedy.”
Cowichan Tribes released a statement sending condolences to the family, who had ties to the community.
“The safety and wellbeing of Quw’utsun Mustimuhw (Cowichan people) and vulnerable populations in our region is a top priority for me and our entire Council,” said Chief Lydia Hwitsum.
“Too many of our community members have experienced the unspeakable loss of a family member at a young age. We need to work together community-wide to combat crime and demand safety by reporting any and all suspicious activities to the RCMP,” added Hwitsum.
Cowichan Tribes said they have been in contact with the RCMP, and are asking witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.
"We are asking our entire community to come together to support justice for this family. Active reporting is an important way our citizens can help law enforcement in the work they are doing," said Hwitsum.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at (250) 748-5522.