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Teenager dies in Surrey after aging out of government care

(Photo credit: Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – A 19-year-old girl was found dead in a tent in a homeless area on Wednesday in Surrey. She recently aged-out of provincial government care.

BC’s new children’s watchdog, Bernard Richard, says the coroner has indicated the young woman may have overdosed and that she was aboriginal.

“She’s part of a core of young indigenous youth that are of interest to our office as a result of an investigation that we’re conducting into the death of Alex Gervais.”

Gervais is the 18-year-old who died after living in a hotel against Ministry policy.

Richard believes provincial support should continue after the age of 19.

“Sadly, many of these youth just stop receiving benefits at 19 and they become prey to all kinds of circumstances.”

He says 19 is a tough time for any young person, but especially for kids who’ve grown up in care and have experienced extremely difficult conditions.

“We believe that supports are required for these youth after the age of 19 so they can transition into adulthood and into better opportunities.”