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RCMP investigating teen's death in Duncan

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The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are investigating the death of 15-year-old girl in Duncan.

Police say the girl was found in a "semi-conscious state under suspicious circumstances" in the south end of the city on May 15.

Mounties were contacted by the BC Ambulance Service after the youth was found in the 5300-block of the Trans Canada Highway.

"Unfortunately, the youth eventually passed away," said RCMP in a release Thursday.

Police say the investigation into the girl's death has been an "extreme priority" for the detachment.

"Due the nature of how she was found, a fulsome investigation was initiated to determine the circumstances that led to the girl’s death, including a thorough scene assessment by the RCMP Forensic Identification Section and the BC Coroners Service, toxicology analysis and other medical examinations," Mounties said.

Police say they will not be releasing any more information on the youth because the girl's identity is still protected under the Privacy Act.

On Thursday, Cowichan Tribes said it was sending its condolences to family members of a "15-year-old youth with ties to Cowichan who passed away last week."

The nation is encouraging anyone with information to contact the RCMP, and encouraged all residents to uphold safety in the community.

"The safety and wellbeing of Quw’utsun Mustimuhw (Cowichan people) and vulnerable populations in our region is a top priority for me and our entire Council," said Cowichan Tribes Chief Lydia Hwitsum in the release.

"Too many of our community members have experienced the unspeakable loss of a family member at a young age," she said. "We need to work together community-wide to combat crime and demand safety by reporting any and all suspicious activities to the RCMP."

Mounties are also encouraging community members to be cautious about rumours and online speculation surrounding the girl's death.

"We are grateful to those who have come forward to provide information to advance this investigation thus far," said Insp. Chris Bear, Officer in Charge of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.

"We also understand that this is a very emotional and difficult time for those affected by this tragedy," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522. 

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