EDMONTON -- West division detectives are investigating after a 19-year-old man suspected of taking ecstasy collapsed at a rave at West Edmonton Mall yesterday morning and later died in hospital.
Special duty officers were called to the Edmonton Event Centre by mall security at about 3:47 a.m. responding to a man who collapsed while revelling at the Frost 2009 rave party.
He was taken to hospital where he died at about 6 a.m. His three friends, two men and a woman in their 20s who were also suspected of taking ecstasy, were treated in hospital and released.
Police said the man's death is not considered suspicious, but police continue to look for the supplier of the drugs.
The cause of death has not been determined and an autopsy has not been scheduled at this time.
"This is being treated very seriously," said police spokesman Dean Parthenis.
"This is a very open and active investigation and investigators would like to hear from anyone else who was at the party."
A Facebook group promoting the rave called it a licensed event for over-18s featuring a multitude of DJs, including "No. 1 ranked DJ in the world" Armin Van Buuren spinning at the party.
Boodang Music Canada, a Calgary-based entertainment company, organized the event, which started at 9 p.m. Sunday and ended the following morning at 6 a.m.
The stepfather of a local teen who died after taking ecstasy at a West Edmonton Mall-organized dance party in April was shocked and saddened to learn of the death.
"I guess some people still are not getting the message," said Guy Buehler, whose 14-year-old stepdaughter Cassie (Eyre) Williams died after taking a high dosage of ecstasy at the Rock 'n' Ride Dance Party on April 24. "My message to people is still, 'Don't touch that stuff.' "
Cassie's friend Ashley also took the drug but recovered after being treated in hospital. West Edmonton Mall later cancelled the longtime event.
SWEPT UNDER RUG
Police laid five charges against the 17-year-old male who allegedly supplied the girls with the drugs, including trafficking.
Buehler said he was disappointed to hear that young people are still taking the drug and criticized officials for not holding dealers responsible and for "sweeping this all under the rug."
However, his thoughts quickly turned to the family of the 19-year-old victim.
"What a weekend for this to happen," Buehler said. "I hope they find the strength to speak out and spread the word about this, and make an impact."
Earlier this year, Trinity Dawn Bird, 15 and Leah Dominique House, 14, two girls from Paul Band First Nation, also died after taking ecstasy with seven other girls on March 21.