Veld Music Festival deaths: Toronto police focus on 'party drugs'

Toronto police have identified two types of pills linked to illnesses at the Veld Music Festival this past weekend, though they are still trying obtain further information about them.

Homicide unit is leading the investigation following deaths of 2 young people

CBC News has learned that Annie Le, 20, of Toronto, is one of the two young people who died after ingesting drugs at the Veld Music Festival. (Facebook)

Toronto police have identified two types of pills linked to illnesses at the Veld Music Festival this past weekend, although they are still trying obtain further information about them.

Two people died and 13 others fell ill after ingesting unidentified "party drugs" that they bought at the two-day music festival held at Downsview Park.

"One of the pills is described as a small brown pill, the other pill is a small clear capsule with a white substance," Det.-Sgt. Peter Trimble told reporters this afternoon, when describing the pills that police have now linked to the illnesses at the music festival.

Asked if these pills were typical street drugs, Trimble said that's something police are still trying to determine.

"I need to get my hands on these pills, so that I can get them tested," he said.

Police have made public appeals for witnesses to come forward and for those who attended the concert to hand over any drugs they may have purchased.

"I am pleased to say that members are coming forward and turning over narcotics that they have in their possession," Trimble said.

As well, investigators are also appealing for anyone who attended the festival to upload photos and video from the concert to the Toronto police website.

Trimble said the images will help police in what he called a large-scale investigation.

"These images or these videos may seem inconsequential to you, but they might be very important to me," Trimble said.

More than 30,000 tickets to the concert were sold and police will be speaking to the promoters, he said.

No 'anatomical cause' in 2 deaths

Trimble said post-mortem examinations have been completed on both of the deceased.

"Neither victim had any anatomical cause of death," Trimble said, noting that the cause of death won't be known until toxicology tests are completed.

The homicide squad is leading the current investigation.

Trimble said one of the victims was from Toronto, while the other lived within the GTA.

He did not identify the victims by name. Police have previously stated that a 20-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man died. Trimble said that the 13 others who fell ill are all expected to survive.

Toronto police Det.-Sgt. Peter Trimble says that investigators have identified two pills that they have linked to the illnesses that occurred at the Veld Music Festival over the weekend. (CBC)

The Special Investigations Unit, which investigates all cases of death, serious injury and allegations of sexual assault that involve police, is looking into the death of the 22-year-old man.

The arm's-length agency has said police spotted the man being carried by two people and called for an ambulance, but he became violent while paramedics were working on him.

The man was placed in handcuffs, which were removed inside the ambulance, but the man was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital, the SIU has said.

CBC News, meanwhile, has identified Annie Le, of Toronto, as the 20-year-old woman who died.

Le had worked at a restaurant at a mall in north Toronto. She had also worked for an NDP candidate in a recent provincial election.

The Toronto-based Ink Entertainment was one of the organizers of the Veld Music Festival.

In a statement, Ink Entertainment CEO Charles Khabouth said the deaths were "health-related tragedies that sadden us deeply."

Khabouth said that "public safety and security have always been the number 1 priorities of the Veld Music Festival and we will continue to make sure they remain that way and with the highest standard of support."

Organizers said that some 280 security guards and 40 medics were employed for the event, along with a doctor, some paramedics and more than two dozen paid-duty officers.

With files from the CBC's Marivel Taruc and The Canadian Press