Woman Found in Whistler, BC Lake Suffered from Depression and Committed Suicide, Coroner Rules

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Alison Raspa, whose body was recovered from Alpha Lake, Whistler, BC. Credit: Facebook

An Australian woman found dead in a semi-frozen lake at Whistler, BC was heavily intoxicated, suffering from depression and drowned, a coroner has concluded.

Alison Raspa was first reported missing on Nov. 23, 2017, hours after she was last seen leaving a Whistler bar, where witnesses recalled seeing her “distraught and crying throughout the night”, but multiple searches found no immediate trace of the 25-year-old. The discovery of human remains in March 2018 in the north end of Alpha Lake were confirmed to be those of Raspa.

The red pin marks Alpha Lake Park, where her belongings were found. Image: Google Maps

When police reviewed her phone, they found Ms. Raspa had made multiple calls between midnight and 1.30 am which went unanswered before she drowned in the lake.

“The text messages she sent on the day of her death support feelings of despondency.”

Coroner Heidi Havdale ultimately ruled the death as a suicide. Based on several witness statements suggesting Raspa was despondent, along with text messages she sent on the day of her death, Havdale wrote that:

“…it is reasonable to conclude that Ms. Raspa intended to end her life in this manner.”

A toxicological analysis found elevated concentrations of alcohol and diphenhydramine, an antihistamine used for common colds, in Raspa’s system. Although the amounts detected were not lethal, Havdale said the combination of alcohol and diphenhydramine can “potentially produce more pronounced central nervous system depression.”

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