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The Globe and Mail

Suspicious death mars love-themed music festival

A British Columbia summer solstice festival celebrating positivity and love ended in death this weekend, when the body of a man from Grand Prairie, Alta., was found on the campground.

"Entheos is based on love. We're all about health, and respecting the Earth, and organic, and don't put your garbage on the ground," said four-time festival organizer Aya Love. "And one person has the ability to change everything."

Entheos, which was in its sixth and final operating year, is touted as a family-friendly affair. The four-day music event near the Fraser Valley community of Boston Barr includes wellness workshops and a new playground for children.

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Alcohol, weapons and drugs are banned.

Ms. Love spent much of the festival before the man was found dead early on Sunday morning playing with children and jumping on trampolines. The idyllic image was shattered when the RCMP and ambulance services arrived on Sunday at Sandy Pines Campgrounds, the site of the event, after Bradley Dean Ross, 25, was found unresponsive in a tent. Emergency workers pronounced him dead and officials suspect foul play. Events scheduled for Monday, the festival's final day, were cancelled.

On Sunday, organizers called a mandatory meeting for the concert-goers, Ms. Love said.

"Hundreds of people [were] just crying and holding each other and everyone [was] just wondering why this had happened," she said. Someone gave a speech urging the attacker to surrender.

Although Ms. Love added that she believed someone had come forward as a result of the community pressure, RCMP Sergeant Jennifer Pound said this information is false.

The police currently have no suspect, and no further details regarding Mr. Ross's death have been released.

The RCMP launched an investigation and barred festival attendees from leaving before being interviewed.

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Police interviewed some people on Sunday, Corporal Adam MacIntosh said, and hoped to get to the rest on Monday.

"If you can imagine trying to deal with a thousand people who may or may not have information," Cpl. MacIntosh said. "That can take time and a lot of resources."

Robert Walters, owner of the campground where the body was found, said late Monday afternoon that he didn't know how many people are still on site, but that there was a lineup waiting to move through the police checkpoint.

Most people knew little about what had happened, he said.

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