What began as experimentation with an illegal club drug ended with the deaths of two teenage girls yesterday, after swallowing fatal doses of ecstacy before a wedding celebration over the weekend.
Trinity Bird, 15, and Leah House, 14, are dead, having spent the last few days at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, after the narcotic left them suffering from edema, or swelling of the brain.
Bird slipped into a coma and died late Tuesday night. House was taken off life support yesterday morning around 11 a.m.
“It’s been devastating,” said Paul Band First Nations spokesman Dennis Paul. “This unfortunate event has been just numbing.”
The community of 1,900, about 60 kilometres west of Edmonton, was gripped by the incident after nine teenage girls allegedly took the drug. One remains in hospital in stable condition.
Rumours circulated that the pills were laced with rat poison. Tests confirmed the presence of MDMA in the girls’ blood, but no evidence of poison.
“Here you have a street drug that does not appear to have contained rat poison, and we have these absolutely tragic consequences,” said RCMP Cpl. Wayne Oakes.
Stony Plain RCMP were at the community’s school yesterday, speaking to students about the dangers of street-level narcotics.
“In this day and age, we all know that there are so many illicit drugs readily available,” Paul said. “It’s not like the 1930s when we used to make moonshine. We have a good idea where it’s coming from — evil people, right here.”
Mounties have launched an investigation, and are urging anyone with information to come forward.
“It is my hope that they don’t die in vain,” Paul said. “I hope that people are brought to justice and the community makes positive change so this day will always be remembered.”