Toronto police have identified two pills they believe could be linked to the deaths of two young people who fell ill at the VELD Music Festival at Downsview Park on the weekend.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Det. Sgt Peter Trimble said an autopsy was conducted on the two victims and that a cause of death is pending toxicology results.
Trimble described one pill as a small brown one and the other a small clear capsule containing a white substance.
Police are asking anyone who may have purchased a “party drug” at the festival not to consume it and to turn the drugs over to police so it can be analyzed.
Toronto police launched a homicide investigation after a 20-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man died after attending the VELD Festival.
Their names have not been released but friends on social media identify them as Willard Amurao and Annie Truong-Le, both of the GTA.
Toronto police deputy chief Mark Saunders said in the 24 hours following the festival, 13 other people were rushed to hospital.
“Approximately 15 people have been taken to hospital suffering from medical distress. Out of the 15, two have succumb and have died as a result of ingesting what we believe to be party drugs which were purchased at the VELD Music Festival,” Saunders said.
The 13 people hospitalized following the festival have been released and Trimble says they are expected to recover.
“This is one of the ways we’re going to prevent future illnesses or deaths,” said Trimble.
Police are also asking those who attended VELD to upload any photos and videos to tps.on.ca/veld.
“We extend our heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of these individuals and will keep them in our prayers,” said Charles Khabouth, CEO of Ink Entertainment, one of the organizers of the event, in a statement.
“Public safety and security have always been the number one priorities of the Veld Music Festival and we will continue to make sure they remain that way and with the highest standard of support.”
The Special Investigations Unit has been called in to investigate the death of the 22-year-old male victim.
A police officer spotted him being carried by two people and called for an ambulance, according to an SIU news release.
The man reportedly became violent while paramedics were working on him and had to be restrained and handcuffed with the help of the police officer.
The handcuffs were removed in the ambulance while the man was being taken to hospital. He lost consciousness and was pronounced dead in the ambulance.
In a release issued Monday morning, the SIU said it has assigned five investigators and two forensic investigators to the case.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the investigators at (416) 622-2150 or 1-800-787-8529 (ext. 2150).