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Investigation into Mississauga man's lethal products expands to New Zealand

Editor’s note: If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health there are a number of ways to get help, including by calling Talk Suicide Canada at 1-833-456-4566. A list of local crisis centres is also available here.

New Zealand authorities have now joined the investigation into the deaths connected to a Mississauga man who is accused of sending sodium nitrite to vulnerable people around the world experiencing suicidal thoughts.

And in the United Kingdom, parents attending a coroner’s inquest called for the people responsible for the death of their 22-year-old son, Tom Parfett, to face justice.

“I want to remember Tom in his living years. He was very quirky and very cheeky,” Julia Gilmore said outside Surrey Coroner’s Court on Friday morning.

“But all I can remember is when I went to ID his body and seeing him in a coffin. And I want the person or the people who are responsible for giving him the sodium nitrite to be brought to account.”

Tom Parfett was a student at St. Andrew’s University. He was found dead in October 2021, next to a package with the label “Imtime Cuisine” on it, according to his father, David Parfett.

22-year-old Tom Parfett. (CTV News Toronto)

Looking for answers, Parfett started his own investigation and followed clues to the Imtime Cuisine website, where he ordered a package for $50 that arrived less than three months after his son’s death.

That website, police later alleged, was one of several operated by Kenneth Law, who they have charged with aiding and abetting two deaths in Peel Region.

“I followed a few threads that led to me what we now know is Ken Law,” said Parfett. “It was super easy. No dark web. No specialized knowledge. The only thing I needed to know is I had to act like someone who was vulnerable.”

CTV News Toronto has learned of 13 deaths where authorities are probing connections to Kenneth Law, or where family have provided evidence connecting to one of his companies. Most of the victims identified have been in their teens or early 20s.

So far, those cases have been in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, including 17-year-old Anthony Jones from Michigan, 20-year-old Noelle Ramirez from Colorado, 23-year-old Neha Raju and 41-year-old Gary Cooper from the U.K.

The New Zealand Police and the Coronial Services of New Zealand say they too are probing deaths there for potential connections.

“Investigations into whether there have been any deaths in New Zealand related to this are ongoing,” a spokesperson for the New Zealand Police told CTV News Toronto. “As part of these investigations, New Zealand Police is working closely with the Coroner’s office, overseas law enforcement and other international partners.”

However, there is no concluded link between the deaths they are investigating and Law, the Coroners Court said in a statement.

“Until those investigations are complete, we cannot say whether or not Mr. Law was involved in any deaths in this country.”

At the inquest in the U.K., expected testimony of a police officer was called off at the last minute, meaning families didn’t get answers to questions about whether investigators did all they could.

Parfett said the risk of harm to vulnerable young people doesn’t stop with just one supplier, but continues through other suppliers and websites that exist to tell suffering young people how to access and pay for the products.

Several lawsuits are ongoing in the U.S. against large tech companies whose algorithms allegedly recommended sodium nitrite with other products, which can create ad hoc suicide kits.

In Canada, records show some of Law’s websites were on Shopify’s platform, which told CTV News Toronto after the arrest that the sales violated its terms of service.

And a website, that CTV News Toronto is not naming, where many of the victims learned of the lethal product and were encouraged in their efforts to end their lives, is banned in some countries but not in Canada.

“We need to acknowledge these websites are causing harm. That’s the root problem. While they exist there will be more,” Parfett said. Top Stories


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