Reena Virk’s dad sees ‘same scenario’ in death of Langley teen

Manjit Virk, whose daughter was killed in Victoria in 1997, says there are parallels between her death and that of a teenage boy this month in Langley.

“It’s the same scenario, they were age 14,” Virk said. “There are lots of similarities and it’s very disturbing.”

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Reena Virk was lured to a secluded area under the Craigflower bridge. She was swarmed by a group of people she thought were her friends, beaten, then drowned.

Carson Crimeni died Aug. 7 after an apparent overdose from drugs his family believes were supplied by older teens who intended to record the teen and post the pictures to social media.

“Age 14, it’s the awkward age,” Virk said. “At that age, I think there must be something common with kids, their bodies are changing, their psychological needs are changing.

“Maybe they want more to be accepted by others, and it’s a natural human desire for humans to be accepted by their peers.

“Reena tried to do that and other people rejected her.”

Virk and his wife, Suman Virk, channelled the pain of their daughter’s death into a decades-long anti-violence campaign. They travelled the country speaking to high school students and helped develop programs to combat bullying and violence in the school system. Suman Virk died last year.

Carson’s dad, Aron Crimeni, has added his voice to those calling for others to take a stand against bullying.

An obituary published Wednesday described the teen as a “fun-loving jokester” who had “dreams of becoming a veterinarian or chef.”

Cpl. Holly Largy of Langley RCMP has said the detachment is investigating his death and had taken almost 40 statements by last week. She could not say whether the case had reached the point of a criminal investigation.

She expected it would take a “long time” to compile all the details.

At the same time, the office that looks into all cases of police-involved deaths or serious injuries in British Columbia is examining what role two Langley RCMP officers may have played in Carson’s death.

A statement from the Independent Investigations Office said RCMP report they were contacted about 8 p.m. on the night Carson died by someone who had seen a Snapchat photo of him and was concerned about his welfare.

Two RCMP members went to an area around a skateboard park, secondary school and athletic park in Langley’s Walnut Grove neighbourhood, but the investigations office said the two left when they found no sign of the boy.

Carson was found later that night in an area near the skateboard park and was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead.

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