British Columbia's Independent Investigations Office is probing the conduct of two officers who were dispatched to a suburban skatepark to check on Carson Crimeni's welfare, but left the scene without finding him.
About two hours later, the 14-year-old died of a suspected overdose. Videos of him intoxicated and being bullied were aired on social media. Police are investigating the circumstances of his death.
The Globe and Mail has learned police were called after a concerned teen saw a Carson Snapchat photo and was worried about his welfare. News of the 911 call at 8 p.m. has left Carson's family wondering if the boy might have been saved if he had received medical attention earlier.
"The IIO has ordered an investigation to determine what role, if any, officers' actions or actions may have played in the incident that followed," the agency said in a statement issued in response to a Globe inquiry about the 8 p.m. call.
In pictures and videos shot and posted to social media over several hours on Aug. 7, young men can be seen and heard laughing at and catcalling Carson, who is red-faced and sweating profusely. The boy appears alternately frightened and confused.
Police say Carson died of a suspected overdose. An autopsy concluded last week showed the boy was in perfect health; his family is expecting a toxicology report before the end of the month.
Carson's family wants to know why police will do more to investigate the 8 p.m. call. Instead, paramedics only responded after another call, this one posted by Mitchell Pederson, 15, just before 10 p.m.
Mr. Pederson has said in an interview with The Globe that he found Carson in extreme distress, his breath ragged and his body cold. Carson died by the time he reached the hospital.
“Someone should have stopped this,” said Carson's aunt, Diane Crimeni, 33. “The police knew about Carson for two hours. We want answers. We don't want anyone to ever feel this pain. ”
Shortly after 9 p.m., after the 11 phone calls Aron Crimeni made to his son went unanswered, he began driving around looking for Carson. Half an hour later, he called his father, who went out looking for the boy on foot.
It was Darrel Crimeni, 71, who followed the flashing lights of a police car parked near the soccer field where he found Carson.
The case has been the focus of intense media coverage; some social media posts purported to name three of the young men involved, including one who is accused of having drugs provided to the boy, allegedly MDMA, a party drug known as ecstasy.
More than 10 officers have combed through 115 tips, but police said this week any potential charges are a long way off.
RCMP declined further comment.
We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive set of news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.