Local News

Father: Experimenting with drugs cost Apex teen his life

Posted October 25, 2012

— The father of an Apex High School student who died from an apparent drug overdose earlier this month said Thursday that his son was a normal teen who made a fatal mistake.

"He was experimenting with this kind of stuff and it cost him his life," said Tito Castaneda, whose 17-year-old son Timothy collapsed at a party on Oct. 6 after taking two hits of LSD, or acid.

He died a week later.

Tito Castaneda said he doesn't believe his son had a drug problem, but that the teen enjoyed having fun and hanging out with friends.

"He was like a normal kid ... He had a lot of friends," Tito Castaneda said. "We never had any issues with him."

On Oct. 6, after Tito Castaneda went to bed, his son and about 12 other teenagers went to a party in a wooded area behind Beaver Creek Cinemas. Investigators say Timothy Castaneda called his classmate, 17-year-old Ryan John Laches, to ask him to bring LSD to the party. 

Laches, who has since been charged with two counts of selling a controlled substance, told investigators he sold and gave away the drug to several teens at the party, according to a search warrant.

Tito Castaneda Apex father warns parents about drug dangers after son's death

Sometime before 2 a.m., Timothy Castaneda's friend called 911 to report that the teen had collapsed and was bleeding and foaming from the mouth. 

"Around 2:30 in the morning, I got the call from the police," Tito Castaneda said. "They told me he was in pretty bad condition."

Timothy Castaneda had had a seizure, authorities said, and his brain was already badly damaged by the time he was taken to a local hospital. 

"He got sicker. His vital signs got weaker," Tito Castaneda said. "I realized there was no hope he would get his brain back."

He died Oct. 13.

"We are trying to cope with it. It is very painful," Tito Castaneda said. "Sometimes I cry, I break down."

He said he hopes other parents will learn from this tragedy, and take concerns about drug use seriously.

"We are good parents, raising our kids the right way," he said. "Timmy never gave us any indication he was experimenting with any of this ever."

He said parents have to be vigilant in keeping their children safe from drugs and peer pressure.

"They don't think this can happen to them," he said. "(But) the drugs are everywhere."

More charges and arrests are possible in connection with the teen's death. Authorities are awaiting the results of an autopsy.

Apex Police Chief Jack Lewis said Wednesday that teens take big risks when they experiment with drugs.

"Every time these drugs get used, (people risk having) a life-alerting, life-changing, all the way to the end of the spectrum, which is life-ending, result," Lewis said. "Those are pretty high stakes."

Tito Castaneda said he and his family still struggle to cope.

"We are in shock. We can not believe (Timmy) is not here anymore," he said. "He did not deserve to die. He was full of life, and that breaks my heart."


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • angelienna Oct 30, 2012

    As the parent of a teen and pre-teen all I can say is that I am sorry to the family for your loss. As a parent I hope I never have to experience what you are feeling. No matter what the cause, the parents are trying to deal the best they can and offer a simple warning to other parents that even good kids make bad decisons sometimes. I hope those that are first to throw stones never have to deal with what this family is feeling. It can happen to any of us parents. The time of night doesn't matter, it could as easily been 3pm... don't get so hung up on the details taht you lose the point of the message.

  • The Rick Oct 29, 2012

    This is all terribly sad.

    I 100% agree with paulej; if only drugs were legal so people could have safe experiences instead of risking their lives with whatever that kid found on the internet.

  • STRAWBERRY LETTER 23 Oct 26, 2012

    oldrebel! (I hope the moderators post this)!!

    GREAT "seeing" you here! Miss you on GOLO. :-)

    To keep on subject: I agree with you, OR. I've never heard of that happening either. I've never done LSD, pot or anything like that, but it sure seems odd, that LSD would kill him.


  • STRAWBERRY LETTER 23 Oct 26, 2012

    It's been my experience that the "partiers" in school (at least when I was in school in the 80's) are the ones that made A's and B's, without trying. They had great parents. Parents who cared. Reared them well. Taught them well. There are many kids who "do drugs" and party, who don't come from loser families or families who don't care. I would even venture to say, it's the opposite! Of course that's not always the case, but more often than not.

    So incredibly sad. I think it's fair to say that most of all have done things in our youth (I sure did) that were reckless, dangerous, or just pure-t life threatening! We made it. We survived. I'm not going to judge this young man for what he did. I'm just going to say how bad I feel for his family and what a shame it is, that his life was cut short.


  • Alexia.1 Oct 26, 2012

    "Paulej, if you honestly don't think there are "drug problems" in most every high school in this country, you need a reality check!" --nativenorthcarolinian

    I didn't say that at all. I noted that it WAS a problem in Apex High and I suspect it is across Wake County. I didn't speculate beyond that, but one can assume given the constant battle with drugs all over the country.

    What I emphasized was that this death was the result of allowing a black market to exist. We should get rid of the black market by legalizing and controlling drugs. One can still make it illegal for minors to purchase, but at least when they do purchase them (and they will!) it will be from a regulated drug manufacturer.

  • carrboroyouth Oct 26, 2012

    Exactly jjsmith. Those experiences, good, bad, dumb, or smart, helped me learn how to make decisions. Your parents can't always hover over you and make them for you.

  • jjsmith1973 Oct 26, 2012

    Wow, looking at the comments there are tons of parents of the year on here. Not like as a teen you snuck out late or went somewhere once you weren't supposed too. I never did drugs and never will but I still snuck out as a kid. Back the car out of the drive in neutral etc. I had friends that had good parents and they tried drugs or drank underage. No, they are not addicts or have problems because of it now. Although, as teens we were lucky to male it alive being teens. Wake up! You people forget so easily what you did as a teen. Weather it was sex, drinking, smoking , drugs, driving unsafe , sneaking out after your assigned curfew. You did something that could have resulted in a bad situation, even death as a teen. It is called adolescents for a reason. Oh and those friends I had and myself grew up in a GOP household, my father a cop and marine, we all were in a Christian private school, and families were very involved in our lives. We still managed to act like dumb kids

  • carrboroyouth Oct 26, 2012

    Familymatters, as person who was teen a few years ago, I can tell you that your kids, however great they may be, will not disclose certain behaviors to you. I was not a bad kid, in fact I was pretty tame compared to the rest, but there will always be secrets that I will take to my grave.
    I think you are judging this family too harshly and hope you never have to deal with the death of a child.

  • workerbee Oct 26, 2012

    Gee Familymatters....I see June and Ward are alive and well around your house.
    It's just when you think you know your kids the best that something like this happens. Smell the coffee and pray this doesn't happen to you and not pretend that it won't.

  • djcalaska Oct 26, 2012

    My deepest sympathies to the family and all the families who have lost loved ones because of drugs. I can tell you from first hand experience the pharmaceutical companies have more drugs out there than law enforcement can keep track of. Most of it is probably being made intentional addictive. Probably half of what is being developed could be taken off the market. We also have more intelligent children along with the easy access to the formulas of drugs available if you look hard enough. You can also throw in the ignorant adults who are giving children drugs. That is how my daughter started a serious downhill spiral. I wonder everyday, if today is the day I will get that last phone call...Let me also mention my daughter and I were close and she was the type to turn in her classmates in if they brought drugs to school... You just never know what may trigger the "need" to escape. Again, my condolences to the family. May God get you through this time...