Juvenile charged in connection with deaths of two Summit County teens

Posted at 4:01 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 00:04:40-04

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah -- The Park City Police Department announced Wednesday that charges have been filed against a juvenile in connection with the deaths of two 13-year-old boys.

According to a press release, the Summit County Attorney's Office has filed charges against a juvenile as a result of the police department's investigations into the deaths of Grant Seaver and Ryan Ainsworth.

The two teens both died in September. While police did not give specific details about a cause of death, during the same week as the deaths school and police officials began warning parents and the community about a potent synthetic opioid known as "pink", which they said poses a greater risk of overdose than other drugs.

"Absolute tragedy that this has happened," Capt. Phil Kirk of Park City PD said. "...We want the public to know our investigation is continuing, that we've now filed charges against one individual involved. There could be others."

Police said the juvenile in question faces charges of distribution of a controlled substance and reckless endangerment in connection with the deaths. Court documents indicate the teen was purchasing drugs online and having them delivered from China. He was allegedly distributing those drugs to other teens.

The teen has not been identified, due to his age. If he were to be tried as an adult, the charges would amount to second-degree felonies.

"Well that's just another tragedy, just add that to another juvenile tragedy," said Dianne Walker, a Park City resident, about the charges being filed.

The two boys who died were best friends and both attended Treasure Mountain Junior High School.

"Total shock," Park City resident Jolee Pointer said. "I think we were, our family, was reeling for a long time. We still are, I knew the families."

Dr. Ember Conley, Superintendent for the Park City School District, said they are taking steps to better educate parents and students. The district is also considering implementing a drug testing policy for students involved in extra-curricular activities.

"All the measures we can take to save lives, that's the direction we're going to go," Conley said.

Parents like Walker hope those changes help the community move forward.

"A better awareness of what's going on, maybe a more closeness of the community more like it was when we moved here 21 years ago," she said.