Charges laid in deaths of two teen girls

A Richmond man has been charged in connection with the deaths of two teenaged girls who attended a school for troubled youth in Burnaby.

Martin Tremblay has been charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing death, two counts of failing to provide the necessities and two counts of obstruction of justice. He appeared in Vancouver Provincial Court Dec. 15 to face the new charges which stem from the deaths of Kayla Lalonde and Martha Jackson Hernandez last year.

On March 2, 2010 at around 12:40 a.m. Burnaby RCMP were called to the 4000-block of Rumble Street after two Good Samaritans driving by found Kayla Lalonde, a 16-year-old Vancouver resident, in medical distress. She did not survive.

Later that same morning, at about 9 a.m., Richmond RCMP responded to a call of a youth being in medical distress at Tremblay's home on Smith Crescent in Hamilton. The 17-year-old girl in that case, Martha Jackson Hernandez, also died.

The two girls were friends and both attended Whytecliff Agile Learning Centre in Burnaby. They died after attending a house party in the East Richmond community of Hamilton.

Toxicology results revealed the cause of death for both girls a lethal combination of alcohol and drugs.

Since their deaths, a large team of police officers, at times involving up to 60 Richmond RCMP investigators, has worked on the case in close cooperation with Vancouver Police Department (VPD), said Sgt. Peter Thiessen, spokesperson for the RCMP Lower Mainland District Regional Police Service, in a press release.

“This was a challenging investigation, involving extensive forensic examinations, and the locating and interviewing of numerous witnesses,” said Thiessen. “In addition to the 60 Richmond investigators, about 40 other police officers were involved from Burnaby RCMP, from various RCMP support units for the Lower Mainland and Province, and from the VPD.

“The charges against Tremblay are in large part due to the cooperation of a number of courageous individuals and the exhaustive efforts of our investigative team,” he said. “We are one step closer to having some answers for the families of Martha and Kayla.”

In September, the VPD announced seven charges against Tremblay related to sexual offences involving four girls ranging in age from 14 to 19 years old.

~ with files from Martin van den Hemel

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