It’s another teen death while in government care.
18-year-old Daniel Francis was found dead in a Port Alberni home yesterday morning.
The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council issued a statement confirming a young person died in their care.
“Given the positive relationship we had developed with the young man, this event hascome as a considerable shock to everyone. He touched a lot of lives in a positive way and we are grieving his loss.”
Friends are mourning his death.
Ally Reeder says she’s still in shock her friend took his own life yesterday.
“I can’t imagine him honestly doing it. That image in my head it’s really hard to believe. Because to me, when he was around he was really happy.”
Reeder says she believes Francis had been drinking at the time of his death, and was unhappy about not being able to see his family, many of whom were also in foster care.
No one from the Ministry of Children and Family Development were able to confirm specific details surrounding the teen’s death, but said in an e-mailed statement the youth was in the child welfare system through a delegated Aboriginal agency of the province.
Barb McLintock with the BC Coroner’s Service verified the body of an 18-year-old boy was found in the Port Alberni home, adding his death doesn’t appear suspicious.
String of deaths
The ministry has come under increasing scrutiny after a string of high profile teen deaths in or after government care.
In 2013, 19-year-old Paige died of an overdose after aging out of the provincial system. That death was slammed in a report by BC’s children’s watchdog.
Then in June of this year, 15-year-old Nick Lang took his own life after being placed in a substance abuse program to treat a methamphetamine addiction.
In August, 17-year-old Alex Malamalatabua died at BC Children’s Hospital, where he had been housed for five months in a psychiatric unit designed for short stays.
And in September, 18-year-old Alex Gervais fell to his death from the window of an Abbotsford hotel, where he was being housed contrary to ministry policy.