Investigation into Mississauga man’s deadly products expands to New Zealand

Editor’s Note: If you or someone 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 centers is also available. here.

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

And in the UK, parents attending a coroner’s inquest have called for those responsible for the death of their 22-year-old son, Tom Parfett, to be brought to justice.

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

“But all I can remember is when I went to identify his body and saw it in a coffin. And I want the person or people who are responsible for giving him the sodium nitrite to be held accountable.”

Tom Parfett was a student at the University of St. Andrew. He was found dead in October 2021, along with a package labeled “Imtime Cuisine,” according to his father, David Parfett.

Tom Parfett, 22 years old. (CTV News Toronto)

Searching for answers, Parfett launched her own investigation and followed leads from the Imtime Cuisine website, where she ordered a $50 package that arrived less than three months after her son’s death.

That website, police later alleged, was one of several operated by Kenneth Law, whom they accused of aiding and abetting two deaths in the Peel region.

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

CTV News Toronto has learned of 13 deaths in which authorities are investigating connections to Kenneth Law, or in which the family has provided evidence of a connection to one of his companies. Most of the identified victims were teenagers or in their 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 United Kingdom.

New Zealand Police and New Zealand Forensic Services say they are also investigating deaths there for possible connections.

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

However, there is no conclusive link between the deaths they are investigating and Law, the Coroner’s 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.”

In the UK inquiry, expected testimony from a police officer was canceled at the last minute, meaning families got no answers to questions about whether investigators did their best.

Parfett said the risk of harm to vulnerable youth doesn’t stop with one vendor, but continues through other vendors and websites that exist to tell suffering youth how to access and pay for products.

There are several ongoing lawsuits in the US against big tech companies whose algorithms allegedly recommended sodium nitrite with other products, which can create ad hoc suicide kits.

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

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

“We need to recognize that these websites are causing harm. That is the root problem. As long as they exist, there will be more,” Parfett said.

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