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Mother has questions after teen's body pulled from river at Osheaga festival
The search for an Ottawa man who went missing during the Osheaga music festival over the weekend ended when his body was pulled from the St. Lawrence River.
Collins Obiagboso had travelled to Montreal in late July and met up with some friends to attend the festival on Aug. 3.
Wahib Ali was among those friends and said the two were watching a set by rapper Nav when they got separated in the crowd.
“We agreed not to bring our phones or anything, so we don’t lose anything, people don’t try to steal our things,” said Ali. “I was pretty close to the mosh pit… and after that, people were pushing him, it was too hectic. I didn’t have my phone, he didn’t have his phone, it was the last I saw of him. He didn’t have any money to get home.”
“The last thing is he said is, ‘It’s too crazy.’ He nodded his head, backed out and I haven’t seen him since then.”
Along with his cell phone, Obiagboso had left his wallet in the Airbnb unit he was renting with his friends, said his mother, Georgina Mensa Boboe.
Boboe came to Montreal from Ottawa on Monday to help the search for her son.
After Obiagboso failed to contact his friends, they called police to report him missing on Sunday.
Before police confirmed the identity of the body, Obiagboso’s mother grew tearful as she described the ordeal of waiting to hear from her son.
“I’m feeling overwhelmed, scared, angry at him,” said Boboe. “He should have known better. Even if he’s just with a friend, he could borrow a phone, call us or text on social media. He should have been able to do that, but I don’t know where to look for him right now.”
Longueuil police discovered an unidentified body in the river on Monday, but police were unable to release the identity until Tuesday evening. SPVM spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant said police needed to confirm the identity before going public.
"We had to get some information from Longueuil police identify the body, so we contacted the coroner and from there we were able to confirm it was the man who was missing," he said.
Brabant said there were no signs of violence on the body. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
Phil Vanden Brande, a spokesperson for concert promoter Evenko, told CTV News the company offers its deepest condolences to Obiagboso’s family. He said that in the 13-year history of the festival, there had never previously been a death.
Generally speaking, two groups are brought in to Osheaga to ensure the safety and well-being of festival goers, according to Vanden Brande.
The 'Hirondelles' are specially trained to offer assistance to people who are "vulnerable" - women, and members of the LGBTQ community.
GRIP Montreal is a non-profit group that helps people who are intoxicated.
Both groups are supported by Urgences Sante, which has paramedics on-site to assist the festival's medical staff.
Vanden Brande said the festival's security is regularly reviewed to adjust to a number of circumstances - but could not say whether it would be reviewed again in light of Obiagboso's death.