Wednesday afternoon Park City School District Superintendent Ember Conley and Park City Police Captain Phil Kirk held a news conference to update the community on the investigation of the deaths of two Treasure Mountain Junior High School students. 13-year-old Grant Seaver passed away at his home Sunday. Tuesday, his friend Ryan Ainsworth, also 13, was found deceased at his home. Monday evening, the police department and the Park City School District issued a community alert about a new synthetic drug called "pink." They say it is highly toxic and, while they have not determined the drug had anything to do with the deaths of the two students, Kirk said police are looking into that possibility. Dr. Conley said police, assisted by drug-sniffing dogs, searched Park City High School, the Learning Center, and Treasure Mountain Junior High both yesterday and today. She said yesterday at Treasure Mountain they found a small bag that had a methamphetamine-like substance in it. And today at Treasure Mountain they found a "couple of possibilities we'll be checking into."
Kirk said police assisted with a medical call this morning where a 15-year-old Park City High School student was taken to the hospital after what appeared to be a suicide attempt. When asked why the police and school district made that information public, Conley responded, “One of the things we know in working with students, and whether this is a suicide or not, after a series of student deaths there is a phenomenon called suicide contagion. That’s one of the things we’ve been working with our experts and preparing for. So when we also built the list of students that we knew were possibly involved in this, we also worked with our students that were at risk that have dealt with maybe some type of other death that oftentimes a situation like this will trigger that type of behavior. "
Kirk added any child who expresses suicidal thoughts should be taken seriously. He recommended the Utah CrisisLine, which is operated by the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute. It's a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week service staffed by mental health professionals. The number is 801-587-3000. It is also the Utah affiliate for the National Suicide Prevention Network Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Below is an audio clip of the Wednesday afternoon news conference: