British Columbia

Police probe suspected drug death of Kelowna teen

Kelowna police are awaiting toxicology results to determine the cause of death of a teenage girl over the weekend.

Teen was experimenting with drugs, ex-boyfriend says

Police say 17-year-old was partying with friends who took heroin 2:26

Kelowna police are awaiting toxicology results to determine the cause of death of a 17-year-old girl over the weekend.

Marissa Ginter was friends with three teens who were taken to the hospital on Friday, after they took what they thought was ecstasy. Police tests on the drug have determined it was actually heroin.

Kelowna RCMP are waiting on a coroner's toxicology report and would not say if Ginter ingested the same drug as the teens who became sick.

Ginter was found dead on Friday morning.

Police say a friend called 911 when she was unresponsive.

Ginter is described as a kind, friendly teen with an unforgettable smile in online condolences posted on the website of the Springfield Funeral Home in Kelowna.

"She had the voice of an angel and was gifted with the ability to play musical instruments," added another friend of the family.

Marissa Ginter, 17, has been remembered as a kind and friendly teen. (Facebook)

"I know her as a fun, loving, passionate girl, spontaneous, smiling all the time, mostly loving life," saod Amanda Donaldson, an outreach worker, at Boys and Girls Club.

But Brandon Vigeurs, who says he dated Ginter for 9 months in 2010, told CBC News he tried warn his ex-girlfriend about the danger of drugs.

"When we first started dating she was 100 per cent clean ... then after about the eight-month mark she started wanting to smoke and smoke weed and try everything she could drink and whatever and party," he said.

"That's when the tipping point was. I tried to hold her back from it, but in the end I just gave up on her."

Vigeurs said those he and those who knew Ginter were struggling to deal with the news of her death.

While police are not considering the case to be a criminal investigation, they are now searching for whoever sold the teens the drugs and are warning teens that ingesting any street drug puts a person in great risk of harm, because it's impossible to know what actually is in the drug.

According to the B.C. Coroners Service, around 200 people accidentally die in the province from taking illicit drugs each year. Only a few of those are under the age of 19.

With files from the CBC’s Brady Strachan