Police officers who failed to find Langley teen overdose victim under investigation
The actions of the RCMP officers who failed to find a Langley teen before he died of an apparent overdose this month are under investigation by B.C.’s police watchdog.
The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) said Wednesday it is looking for witnesses who may have seen the two officers searching for Carson Crimeni two hours before he was found by local teenagers.
Crimeni, 14, was found barely breathing in a ditch near the Walnut Grove Skateboard Park around 10 p.m. on Aug. 7, his family has confirmed.
WATCH: (Aug. 9) Friends and peers mourn Langley teen’s apparent overdose
Video and pictures posted to Snapchat earlier that day appeared to show Crimeni high on drugs, growing visibly agitated while a group of teenagers laughed at him.
The IIO said Wednesday a 911 call was placed around 8 p.m. by someone who saw the Snapchat video and was concerned about Crimeni’s welfare.
The officers conducting the welfare check could not locate the teen, the IIO said in a statement.
Two hours later, Crimeni was found behind Walnut Grove Secondary School by a separate group of teens who called 911.
“As far as how the police could have missed it or what happened there, it’s almost kind of mind-boggling considering most of the Snapchats were coming from the same general area,” Aron Crimeni said.
“It’s another ‘could have but didn’t happen’ situation. It’s hard to think about right now, to be honest.”
The IIO said it is investigating to determine whether the officers’ actions or inaction played a role in the incident, and are seeking potential witnesses.
Wednesday’s statement clarified the watchdog’s involvement in the investigation, after it provided few details immediately after Crimeni’s death.
At the time, the IIO would only say it was investigating because “police were in proximity of the boy, looking for him.”
WATCH: (Aug. 9) Father of dead Langley teen demands justice for son
Police believe Crimeni spent his final hours on foot between the skate park, the grounds of Walnut Grove Secondary School and the nearby Walnut Grove Athletic Park.
Darrel Crimeni, Carson’s grandfather, said earlier this month Aron called him in a panic, saying the teen was late coming home.
Darrel went out to look for his grandson, eventually coming across the flashing police lights that led him to where Carson was found.
Aron Crimeni has wondered whether an earlier call to 911 could have saved his son’s life, and has called for the teens in the Snapchat video to be charged.
He said Wednesday he’s also heard rumours about what happened — and who’s allegedly responsible — from friends and families of teens who knew his son.
He is urging anyone with information to pass it along to police.
Langley RCMP have not said whether they are considering charges, but they added that they’re continuing to investigate.
Aron is still mourning his son’s death as the IIO and RCMP continue their work. Carson’s funeral is set for Aug. 29 at 1 p.m.
“It’s all I mean… it’s just absolutely heartbreaking,” Aron said. “It’s unbelievable how people could be that inconsiderate to a kid that was a good kid.
“He just wanted to be their friend. He didn’t want anything more.”
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