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B.C. Coroner's office investigating Amanda Todd's death

The provincial coroner's office has launched an investigation into the death of Port Coquitlam teen Amanda Todd and will be as thorough in seeking answers and making recommendations as it is in every child suicide.

But Coroner Barb McLintock expects the investigation into the death of the 15-year-old Grade 10 student to be even more complicated because of social media and the role it may have played in her death.

"All that social media stuff has really sprung up on us in the last three or four years...we feel were like the we're on the cutting edge working on this stuff," McLintock said Friday.

The job of the provincial coroner's office isn't to find fault but to investigate the circumstances leading up to the teen's death, including her physical and mental health, family, school and community supports, friends and activities.

However, McLintock was careful to point out that this investigation is no different from any other child suicide, which she said happens more often than people realize.

"We're not going to investigate this any different than all those youth suicides. The fact that its gone viral on Youtube, it's exactly the same sad case as many of the others we'll get," McLintock said.

As well, a secondary review will be conducted by the Child Death Review Unit and a newly-established multi-disciplinary team may also look into her death and make recommendations. However, inquests are rare for suicides because of fears of re-traumatizing the family, McLintock said.

According to the coroner's office, suicide is the second most common cause of death among B.C. children and teens after car crashes. And in a study of 81 child and teen suicides between 2003 and 2007, most were older (17 or 18), male, First Nations or gay/bisexual.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

 

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