British Columbia

Occupy camper died of overdose: coroner

The B.C. Coroners Service confirmed on Sunday that a drug overdose was the cause of death of Ashlie Gough, the 23-year-old who died at the Occupy Vancouver site last week.
Ashlie Gough, 23, of Victoria, died from a drug overdose in Vancouver on Nov. 5. (Family photo)

The B.C. Coroners Service confirmed on Sunday that a drug overdose was the cause of death of Ashlie Gough, the 23-year-old who died at the Occupy Vancouver site last week.

Owen Court, the regional coroner for the Vancouver-Metro area, said Gough was using drugs intravenously and consumed a fatal combination and dose.

"The toxicology results were received late on Thursday, and they confirmed essentially a lot of the speculation that was already out there," Court said.

"Ashlie died as a result of a mixed overdose of heroin and cocaine."

Gough, from Victoria, had been visiting the site of the Occupy Vancouver protest and encampment, on the plaza on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

She was last seen alive at 4 a.m. PT on the morning of Nov. 5, just before she went into her tent.

She was found unresponsive inside the tent almost 12 hours later. Attempts at resuscitation failed.

Court said Gough had probably died a number of hours before she was found. He also said her death is particularly tragic because, according to those close to her, Gough was not a habitual user.

"She actually didn't do this all the time. She only did this on occasion," Court said.

"For anyone out there who does this sort of thing on a recreational basis, I urge you: Find a new recreation. This is just too high risk," he added.

Was not part of 'Occupy,' says family

Although Gough's death has become a political issue, as an indicator for the mayor that the Occupy Vancouver camp was no longer safe, her family said she was not part of the protest.

Ashlie Gough, 23, was from Victoria. She died in Vancouver last week. ((Facebook))

"Ashlie was not a part of Occupy Vancouver," Gough's family wrote in a statement issued to media on Sunday.

"She had gone to Vancouver with her best friend for the weekend and while he was at work she went to visit a few more friends," the statement said.

The family said Gough was "a beautiful, happy young woman" who loved people, her family, art, tattooing, body piercing, travel, and deep-sea diving.

Gough had plans to visit Thailand with her boyfriend this Christmas, according to the family.

"Her family and loved ones are devastated by the loss and doing their best to cope with the grief," the statement said.