03/14/2016 08:10 EDT | Updated 03/16/2016 01:59 EDT

B.C. First Nations Woman Died After Leaving Provincial Care, Children's Rep Says


VICTORIA — British Columbia's independent representative for children and youth says a young woman has died tragically after receiving government care.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond says the 19-year-old woman was trying to navigate the system of youth support after she was no longer involved with the Children's Ministry.

No information about when the woman received government services or the cause of her death has been released, but coroner Barbara McLintock says an investigation is underway.

Turpel-Lafond says that at this point in the investigations by police and the coroners service, she can only express her profound sadness and offer support to the woman's family and friends.

She says the death is a reminder of the frailty of the lives of some young people in B.C., especially aboriginal youth as they move into adulthood.

However, her office says the woman had not transitioned out of government care before she died, unlike a 19-year-old aboriginal woman named Paige, who was found dead in 2013 of a drug overdose in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

CORRECTION — March 16: An earlier version of this story said the woman had aged out of government care before she died. This was not the case and the article has been amended.

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