When Wendy Head died of a fatal drug overdose on March 7, her loved ones lost a woman described as an ‘Angel.’
Her daughter paid tribute to her on Instagram, writing: “You were the most loving, beautiful soul I have ever known, I am so grateful for all you’ve done for me and shaping me into the person I am today.”
But what killed Wendy Head was no accidental overdose, according to RCMP, and the 52-year-old’s fatal drug death is now being investigated as a homicide.
“A lot of information has come forward and we’re at the point now where we know there are people on the Island who have information,” Reserve Const. Gary O’Brien told CHEK News on Wednesday.
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According to neighbours, Head’s fatal overdose happened in a home on the 2300-block of Autumnwood Drive that has been operating as an AirBnB until now. No one was answering the door on Thursday, but those who live around it and were too worried to appear on camera told CHEK News that it’s been a source of problems and suspicious behaviour for years.
Nanaimo outreach worker Jovanne Johnson said she feels for Head’s family and also fears that the 52-year-old’s death could be one of many homicides that have passed as fatal drug overdoses in Nanaimo’s opioid crisis.
“Unfortunately, it is. It is a very convenient way to kill someone now and it’s very concerning,” said Johnson, the executive director of Risebridge.
“Unfortunately, many of us know that intentional overdosing is happening quite frequently in our community. And we hope maybe this call can set a precedence moving forward,” she said.
Johnson’s own dad, Steven, died from a fatal drug overdose in Vancouver in December, and she has long suspected he was murdered.
“His experience certainly wasn’t given the care and attention that it deserved,” she said. “My experience as his daughter has been horrific.”
Wanda Leblanc is a member of the group Moms Stop the Harm
“I was happy to hear that there’s some visibility on this and that they’re going to look further into it,” said Leblanc, a Nanaimo resident and mother of a drug user.
On Nanaimo’s Old Victoria Road Thursday, drug user James Carlos told CHEK News he would like to see more fatal overdoses, including several of his friends deaths in Nanaimo, investigated in the wake of this.
“It’s just another excuse to take out someone who’s inferior. We’re all seen as that,” said Carlos.
Anyone with information on the death of Wendy Head is urged to contact Nanaimo RCMP.