The British mom of a TikTok star is coming forward demanding justice after she found out her daughter died using a so-called suicide kit allegedly sold by a Canadian man, as deaths possibly tied to Kenneth Law rise to over 100.
CTV News is also learning more details about the ongoing investigation into Law and an employment dispute at the iconic Toronto hotel where Law worked, as a new video emerges of Law.
Louise Nunn said it was sickening to learn that the death of her daughter Imogen, known as “Deaf Immy” to 710,000 TikTok followers, was one of 88 British people local police say died after ordering products from Law’s websites over a two-year period.
Nunn said it was heartbreaking to learn of other deaths months and years before Imogen’s, and believes many lives could have been saved if authorities had acted earlier.
“I can’t even say how angry it makes me feel. It’s sickening. Why did they let it go on for so long? They could have stopped this a long time ago,” Nunn said.
Nunn came forward Friday as Britain’s National Crime Agency revealed that 272 people had ordered products that could be used to commit suicide from Canadian websites, and of those 88 had died.
Police in Canada have warned about the websites, allegedly run by Mississauga’s Kenneth Law, who faces two charges of aiding and abetting suicide. Peel Police said at the time of his arrest that they had tracked some 1,200 products to 40 countries.
Law, once a chef at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel, and a former engineer, has said that he’s not responsible for what people do with his products and has denied the charges. He briefly appeared at a bail hearing on Friday and remains in custody.
Deaths possibly connected to Law rise to 101: CTV News tracking
The U.K. figures bring the total deaths worldwide that may be linked to products Law sent from a Mississauga post office to 101, according to tracking by CTV News relying on accounts from authorities, media, and family members.
Many of those who died were in their 20s, according to family members. The youngest was 17-year-old Anthony Jones in Michigan. The earliest known case is a 21-year-old named Jaden, who died in February 2021 — his family said they went to police in B.C. almost two years before Imogen Nunn’s death.
“She was amazing,” said her mom Louise Nunn, who can also be seen in Imogen’s widely shared comic and poignant videos about hearing and mental health issues.
Imogen Nunn had struggled for a long time with her mental health, including a stint in hospital, as she tried to place herself in the hearing world and in the deaf world, Nunn said.
Her death in January was so sudden, Nunn recalled, that paramedics couldn’t arrive in time, leaving her family with many questions. It wasn’t until months later, after a toxicology report, that Nunn was told that authorities had found sodium nitrite in her system.
Sodium nitrite is a chemical used to cure meat, but can be deadly in high concentrations.
“We’d never heard of it before. I didn’t have a clue what it was,” Nunn said, adding that the police contacted her in June to say the substance had come from Canada.
“It’s shocking. Just devastating. You think you’re the only person going through something and you think no one can understand. But to know there are that many other people going through that amount of pain — it’s not something you want, not something you would wish on your worst enemy,” she said.
Law involved in hotel union dispute
The allegations against Law came as a surprise to Law’s co-workers at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel, where law worked as a chef.
“We’d heard Ken Law’s name but no one suspected what we would find out in the subsequent weeks,” said David Saunders of the union THEU-CSN.
Kenneth Law was designated as a “Cook 2” at Reign Restaurant in the Fairmont Royal York, and a shop steward for the rival union, Unite Here.
The two unions are embroiled in a dispute over which union will represent the hotel’s workforce. A video obtained by CTV News shows Law in a heated discussion with representatives of THEU-CSN.
“You don’t belong here, please leave,” he says in the video. The union dispute is headed to an Ontario tribunal.
After Peel Police announced charges against Law, the hotel fired him, the unions said. Unite Here said that Law requested they grieve the firing.
“Kenneth Law did ask for that and that is his right,” said Unite Here’s Shelli Sareen in an interview.
Before the arrest, one employee collapsed at work, the unions confirmed, and after the arrest, that employee made a complaint to the police about an alleged connection between that incident and Kenneth Law.
Peel Police confirmed that the complaint is “all part of the larger investigation” but didn’t offer more details. Law has not been charged with anything related to the workplace incident.
The Fairmont Royal York told CTV News it hasn’t stocked sodium nitrite in its kitchen for at least 10 years, and said in a statement, “We can share that a review was completed at that time, and it was found to be an isolated incident with no cause for concern for other employees.”
“We are confident in the extensive measures we have in place to safeguard our employees, reviewing them regularly to ensure that we meet the highest standards to maintain an exceptional work environment,” the statement said.