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Former C.V. High Student, 16, Found Dead

January 11, 2007|By Mary O'Keefe

LA CRESCENTA — Crescenta Valley High School is mourning the loss of a former student who died over the weekend.

Benjamin "Vince" Velasquez, 16, had attended CVHS until October. He had since been attending Daly High School in Glendale.

According to Los Angeles Sheriff's Detective Dan McElderry, shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, paramedics responded to a residence in La Crescenta, with one patient in full cardiac arrest. They arrived on scene and pronounced Velasquez dead at 9:50 a.m. There were other teens at the home.

"It may not have been a party, more like kids just hanging out," McElderry said.

It appears the teens, along with Velasquez, stayed overnight. The next morning paramedics were called, he said.

An announcement was made to the CVHS student body on Monday, after principal Linda Evans heard of the incident. Counseling was offered at both CVHS and Daly.

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"In addition to providing counseling for students we are asking other students to come forward if they know of someone who needs help," Evans said. She said sometimes it is difficult for a student to ask for counseling when this type of tragedy occurs.

Everyone interviewed for this article said that many rumors of Velasquez' death are swirling around CVHS. Evans and McElderry have heard the rumors, however until the coroner's report is completed there is no official cause of death.

McElderry has been in contact with the other teens that were at the home on Friday and Saturday.

"There was no trauma involved … there was no foul play … this appears to be an accidental death," McElderry said.

The investigation is still ongoing. As of press deadline it was not determined if any adults will be held responsible.

A Rosary for Velasquez will be held at 7 p.m., Friday at Holy Redeemer Church. Funeral Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, also at Holy Redeemer, followed by interment at Forest Lawn-Covina Hills under the direction of Crippen Mortuary.

Velasquez is survived by his parents Benjamin and Sherry, sister Lindsay and two grandfathers, Eusevio Favella of Pico Riveria and Richard Wines of Escondido.

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