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Police still can't confirm street drugs killed Kelowna teen

Photo of Marissa Anne Ginter.
Image Credit: Facebook
August 06, 2013 - 12:59 PM


KELOWNA - Kelowna RCMP say they need more information before they can confirm speculation that a seventeen-year-old Kelowna girl found dead in her bed last Friday morning died of a street drug police warned the public about last week.

The B.C. Coroner's service is investigating the sudden death of Marissa Anne Ginter. She was a known drug user and three teens who got quite ill from a bad street drug they bought in downtown Kelowna last week, told police and media that Ginter took the same substance.

An autopsy and toxicology report will determine whether or not drug-use was a factor in Ginter's death.

The three teens were sent to the hospital last week with unusual symptoms after taking what they thought was ecstasy. RCMP say that drug was later determined to be a powdered form of heroin.

Police issued a warning to the public last Friday about the dangerous street drug used by the three teens, but did not disclose any details about Ginter's death.

RCMP Const. Kris Clark says at the time of the release, he was unaware the two incidents might be related and that Ginter was known to the three teens.

“But I can't say she ingested that same substance or that substance was what killed her. In any death investigation there's a lot of factors to consider,” he says. “We do not conduct investigation on rumour or innuendo. We need to confirm the autopsy and toxicology reports.”

To avoid causing undue panic, police issued the warning Friday only on something they could confirm: three youth became violently ill after taking a substance they thought was MDMA.

Police have yet to make any seizures of the drug or track down the dealer.

MDMA, a synthetic product is vastly different from heroin, an opiate. What might be a tolerated amount of MDMA could be a lethal dose of heroin.

“There's no such thing as a safe dose and there's no quality control on these particular substances,” he says.

A strong message comes from these incidents.

"You're never safe when you ingest a street drug," Clark says. And while some might think if they've taken the drug before they can safely take it again - they're wrong.

"It's toxic chemicals creating toxic drugs."

Over the long weekend police made multiple drug seizures in connection with the Centre of Gravity event, an electro-dance music festival that drew a crowd of 30,000 - a potential market for gang members looking to sell drugs.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at or call (250)718-0428.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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