WARNING: This story contains information that people may find disturbing.
An investigation by the BC Coroner’s Service has been unable to classify the death of a teenager in government care.
15-year-old Nick Lang was found dead inside a closet last June.
He’s of several kids to die while in the care of the Children’s Ministry.
Lang was found with a shoelace around his neck, but the coroner has not been able to rule whether his death was suicide or accidental.
It turns out Lang may have been participating in a “choking game”, cutting off oxygen in order to create a feeling of euphoria.
It’s very risky and can lead to permanent brain damage or death.
His parents have filed a lawsuit against the province, claiming he wasn’t properly supervised.
But that claim hasn’t been proven in court.
The report from the coroner also includes a recommendation.
It urges BC’s Children and Youth Advocate Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to review the services provided to Lang, in order to improve outcomes for all kids in the province.
Parents accept report
Nick’s father says he accepts the findings of the Coroner’s report
Peter Lang says he was notified in advance of the report, which couldn’t determine if Nick’s death was a suicide or accidental.
“I completely understand how they can’t really determine one way or the other but regardless of that, their investigation shows there were lots of signs that were there that were either missed or ignored by MCFD.”
A civil lawsuit against the province is still ongoing, but Peter Lang says in the weeks leading up to the one-year anniversary of his sons’s death it’s still an emotional roller coaster.
“Mother’s Day was a hard day for Nick’s mom, it was a tough weekend. There’s good days and bad days, and we just try to cope the best we can and in a positive way. We have good family around us, good friends, and good First Nations communities that are supporting us and that’s what gets us through each day.”
His father Peter calls the latest report another piece in the puzzle to get answers on how his son died and what can be done to prevent similar deaths in the future.