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Coroners service confirms heroin overdose of Kelowna teen

Jenessa Brown died July 27 of a heroin overdose.
Image Credit: Facebook
January 20, 2014 - 2:27 PM

KELOWNA - A teenager died of a heroin overdose the day after her friend bought the drugs downtown Kelowna, confirms a coroners report released today.

The friend found Jenessa Kelly Brown, 19, in bed, face down on the mattress July 27, 2013 around 10:50 a.m. at her Kelowna residence, coroner Andrew Cave said. She was unresponsive and surrounded by drug paraphernalia including hypodermic needles. The friend had last seen her alive around 5 a.m. when she went to sleep. He awoke at 9:30 a.m. and, without waking Brown, went to the nearest convenience store to buy a drink. When he got back, he realized something was wrong and called 911.

Emergency personnel attempted to revive her but gave up after 40 minutes. Her heart had stopped.

According to the friend, they had been taking heroin intravenously several times over the past 18 hours.

“Investigation revealed that Ms. Brown had been an intravenous drug user for several years and had been on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications for a long period of time,” Cave said.

Toxicology analysis revealed an elevated level of morphine in her body from the heroin. Cave concluded that Brown died of an accidental heroin overdose and made no recommendations.

While her passing had not been confirmed as a heroin overdose by the B.C. Coroners Service until today, some media have been linking her death with a string of Okanagan overdoses including that of 17-year-old Marissa Ginter. The investigation into Ginter’s death is ongoing, though there has been some speculation that she ingested a powdered form of heroin believing it was ecstasy.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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