Police have identified the victim in what they call a suspicious death at the Pemberton Music Festival, north of Vancouver.
Twenty-one-year-old Nick Phongsavath of Regina was found dead on the festival grounds.
Homicide investigators cordoned off an area near a row of portable toilets after the death late Friday.
Police have released few other details of the investigation.
Festival organizers Huka Entertainment said its staff was working with Pemberton fire and rescue to help out campers who were forced to move their tents because of the investigation.
As police went about their work Friday night the band Nine Inch Nails played on in the background.
Full news release:
IHIT Deployed to Suspicious Death at Pemberton Festival
Sea-to-Sky: The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has taken conduct of a suspicious death.
On July 18, 2014 just after 6:00pm a male was found deceased inside his tent. The Whistler/Pemberton RCMP along with the BC Ambulance Service attended and all attempts to revive the victim were unsuccessful and he was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The victim’s identity has been confirmed to be 21 year old Regina resident, Nick PHONGSAVATH
As it appeared that there may be indications of foul play, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was called and is currently leading this Suspicious Death investigation.
“IHIT is working closely with the Sea-to-Sky Detachment and have been interviewing witnesses and speaking with event attendees throughout the night. At this point, there is nothing to confirm or definitively rule out foul play,” says S/Sgt. Jennifer Pound.
IHIT, along with the Integrated Forensics Identification Service (IFIS) was processing the scene overnight and throughout the day today. The deceased has been removed from the location and the scene will likely be opened this evening. An autopsy will be required to determine the cause of death.
“It is estimated that there are close to 20,000 participants attending this music festival, creating a very dynamic environment for investigators. Whistler/Pemberton RCMP as well as HUKA event organizers have been extremely helpful in assisting IHIT with this investigation,” says S/Sgt. Jennifer Pound.
For up-to-date information on the event you can call the HUKA information line at 1-646-918-5130
If there are individuals who have information about this death, who have not yet spoken with investigators, we are asking you call the IHIT tipline 1-877-551-4448.
- In regards to the event, the Whistler-Pemberton office developed a comprehensive operational plan to address the Pemberton Music Festival. The plan includes utilizing resources from detachments in the lower mainland, as well as municipal police attached to integrated teams.
- Despite the incident, policing for the festival continued with officers on site continuing to respond to calls for service and function in a proactive fashion.
- To date the number of incidents that required police involvement has been reasonably low. Traffic to the event has not created any significant concerns. Inside the festival area we have arrested 7 people since Wednesday. These arrests have been related to intoxication in public and causing a disturbance.
- Whistler-Pemberton detachment is continuing to police the festival in accordance with the operational plan.. Despite this one incident there has been minimal issues requiring police involvement.