NNSL Photo/Graphic

Canadian North

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Good Hope teen died of hypothermia
Alcohol a significant factor, coroner says

Kassina Ryder
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 10, 2014

A 14-year-old girl found dead in Fort Good Hope in December 2012 died of hypothermia after drinking with a friend, according to a coroner's report released last week.

In her report, Cathy Menard stated a search party found the girl in the bush near the town's water reservoir on Dec. 31, 2012. The temperature that night was about -20 C.

The girl had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit allowed for driving when she died, Menard stated.

In the NWT, 0.08 per cent blood alcohol concentration is the maximum legal limit for driving.

According to the report, the teen's mother last reported seeing her in the early morning of Dec. 29.

Her mother believed the girl was intoxicated and thought she had gone to bed.

She was reported missing the next day and the search party found her on New Year's Eve.

The report stated the girl had been with a girlfriend on the evening of Dec. 29. Each had a bottle of vodka and the girl showed her friend two additional bottles she had hidden in her closet.

The report states it is believed she obtained the bottles during a recent trip to Norman Wells.

The pair visited another friend's home where they smoked marijuana before separating at about 3:40 a.m. Her body was found on Dec. 31.

Menard told News/North that over the pasts five years, there have been 11 cases of death due to hypothermia in the territory.

"All were alcohol related," she said.

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.