An investigation was underway today to see if the lethal party drug mephedrone was involved in the death of a teenage girl from Cumbria.
Police said they found Carmen Marie Moulton, 17, dead after being called to a property in Penrith on Saturday – with four people being arrested for alleged drugs offences.
The teenager’s heartbroken mother today paid tribute to her daughter, who lived on Tyne Close Terrace in the town.
Police said a probe was launched to discover whether mephedrone, which was made illegal on Friday, had contributed to her death.
A force statement said officers were called by the ambulance service to a property on William Street at 2.10pm on Saturday.
“They found 17-year-old Carmen Marie Moulton, who had sadly passed away,” it added.
“Two men aged 19 and 31 and a 16 year-old girl – all from Penrith – have been arrested on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs.
“They have been placed on police bail until May 25 pending further inquiries.
“A 40-year-old man, also from Penrith, has also been arrested on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs and remains in Carlisle custody this morning for questioning.
“Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death and have informed Miss Moulton’s immediate family and the coroner.”
Miss Moulton’s grieving mother, Michelle Hodgson, revealed the impact of the tragedy.
She said: “We are all devastated by the loss of a caring, loving daughter who was full of life and had her whole life ahead of her.
“We would appreciate being left alone to grieve and come to terms with our loss but would like to say thank you for the kind messages of condolence we have received.”
Neighbours of the property at the centre of the investigation said they believed it was a bedsit, with a number of people staying within.
One said there had been “loads of police activity”, adding that they had heard drugs were suspected of being involved.
Police said a post mortem examination was expected to take place later today.
Mephedrone has been associated with a number of fatalities nationally and politicians moved to impose a ban, passing it through the House of Commons in recent weeks.
As of last Friday, anyone possessing the drug could be arrested and jailed for up to five years while dealers could get a 14-year sentence.
Police in Cumbria have been handing out letters to businesses known to supply the substance, warning them of the law change.
The law change places mephedrone on a par with substances such as amphetamine and cannabis.
In a separate incident in recent weeks, a girl collapsed at a party in Currock, Carlisle, amid reports that she had taken the drug.
April 19, 2010
News & Star