'Party drugs' may have killed 2 at music festival: Cops

Toronto Police Deoputy Chief Mark Saunders spoke to the media explaining that two people attending...

Toronto Police Deoputy Chief Mark Saunders spoke to the media explaining that two people attending the VELD music festival have died - a 20 yr-old woman and 22-year-old man, who is now the object of an SIU investigation on Monday August 4, 2014. (Jack Boland/QMI Agency)

Shawn Jeffords, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:47 PM ET

TORONTO — Some ravers at VELD were so high they found pills on the ground and swallowed them, said a Toronto detective investigating a pair of overdose deaths at the music festival.

Willard Amurao, 22, and an unidentified 20-year-old woman died this weekend after taking what police are calling “party drugs” at the electronic music festival.

Det. Sgt. Peter Trimble said when some of the people who took as-yet unidentified illicit drugs at the two-day music festival were interviewed, they admitted to finding the pills on the ground.

"We had some people taking upwards of 10 pills, some people picking up pills on the ground," Trimble said.

Trimble said the investigation is now focused on two suspected pills turned over to police.

One brown pill and one clear capsule with white powder inside were provided to police after investigators appealed for anyone at the show to turn over the drugs.

Trimble urged anyone who bought the pills at the festival to turn them in.

"I need to get my hands on these pills so I can get them tested," he said.

Trimble said in addition to the two fatal overdoses, 13 people were hospitalized after taking pills. Most reported turning pale and feeling faint, and many suffered seizures.

Police also appealed to festival-goers to submit any pictures or videos they took at the show. Officers have set up a special page at the Toronto Police website for uploads, tps.on.ca/veld.

"These videos or these images may seem inconsequential to you, but they may be very important to me," he said.

Toronto EMS Commander Roy Suthons said paramedics are at "significant disadvantage" when they don't know what a person has ingested when treating them.

"It's very, very important people not consume any product when they don't know what it is," he said. "There is significant risk. That risk needs to be understood."

shawn.jeffords@sunmedia.ca


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