Police investigation underway into death of 14-year-old on Hawaii Island

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 3:10 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2021 at 3:15 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An investigation into the death of 14-year-old girl is underway on Hawaii Island, and police sources say the incident may involve a popular social media app.

Detectives are trying to figure out if the teen may have accidentally overdosed.

According to sources, the 14-year-old filmed herself on TikTok snorting an unknown substance not long before she died. The teen was subsequently airlifted to Kapiolani Medical Center.

Hawaii Police Department Lt. Edwin Buyten called the death “extremely, extremely tragic.”

“I can tell you Hawaii Police Department takes each one of those cases serious when something in the event like this young lady takes place,” he said.

The medical examiner confirms an autopsy was performed on the girl, but the office said the results of toxicology tests won’t be in for several months.

“My first reaction is it’s very sad to hear that,” said Michael Yadao-Evans a licensed marriage and family therapist. He said in his experience, cases like this one are rare in Hawaii. But he added it highlights the importance of parental involvement, especially when it comes to children’s social media accounts.

“Just being aware. As aware as possible of your child’s activities. Especially online,” Yadao-Evans said.

Buyten adds education on the dangers of drug use is also important.

“A lot of these drugs are laced,” he said. “So if you think you obtained cocaine, in today’s world that cocaine might be laced with fentanyl, prescription oxy or forged oxy.”

Meanwhile, the investigation into the girl’s death continues.

Because the case involves a juvenile the teen’s name hasn’t been released.

“As we move forward hopefully we can be a little more transparent about it,” Buyten said.

“I believe we would like to be for this very case we’re talking about right now for educational reasons. And bring it to a closure for the community as well.”

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