A college student's experiment with ecstasy at a Las Vegas music festival appears to have lead to her death.
Emily McCaughan, a University of Arizona pre-med student, was pronounced dead after falling from the 27th floor of her hotel room after attending the Electric Daisy Carnival. Her body was found on the morning of June 11, and a medical examiner confirmed her death on June 15.
The death is thought to be in response to the “paranoid delusions” McCaughan suffered after taking ecstasy, family members told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
According to the Review-Journal, McCaughan, 22, was with her friends at the festival when she began to think that a man was stalking her. Her friends escorted her out of the concert and called a cab to bring her to the hotel. No one went home with her.
An investigation into the death revealed that McCaughan’s paranoia continued at the hotel room, where she barred the door and sent her friends frantic Facebook messages. When her friends arrived back at the hotel room, she had disappeared. Her body was discovered later by a hotel security search.
Mignonne Walstad, a family friend and spokesman for the McCaughans, expressed her disappointment at the friends’ reaction.
"A friend never leaves a friend," Walstad said. "and they left her."
Walstad also stressed McCaughan was not a regular drug user. Her father even stated that he could not believe his daughter would have used drugs, and he suspects foul play, according to the AP.
McCaughan was not the only death related to the Las Vegas festival. A 31-year-old died leaving the rave on June 11 after being hit by a truck. Alcohol was reported in the incident.
Erika Raney, a spokeswoman for Electric Daisy Carnival producer Insomniac, stated that the tragic deaths will not ultimately stop the festival.
"We are deeply saddened by the two tragedies that occurred last week in Las Vegas outside Electric Daisy Carnival," Raney told the AP. "The two tragedies occurred beyond the festival's walls as well as beyond Insomniac's control and these incidents will not threaten the future of EDC in Las Vegas."
Raney continued on to say that the music festival was actually the safest place to be during the three days, citing the law enforcement, private security teams and medical facilities available for those within the venue.
The Electric Daisy fest has had problems like this in the past.
Last year, a 19-year-old boy died at the festival in Dallas, Texas. In 2010, a 15-year-old girl died after overdosing on drugs when Electric Daisy Carnival came to Los Angeles. That party also resulted in more than 226 people receiving emergency medical treatment and 114 arrests for misconduct, drug possession and other charges, according to the AP.
Walstad, however, pointed the blame at drug use.
"Damn it. They're just killers every single time," Walstad told the Review-Journal "Emily wasn't a drug addict, it was just a tragic accident."
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