An 11-year-old boy has died after trying to take his own life, and his mother has spoken out to blame a social media prank.
Tysen Benz, from Michigan, died at a hospital in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, after battling injuries sustained from a suicide attempt that took place on 14 March.
His mother, Katrina Goss believes Tysen tried to take his own life because of a ‘manipulative’ social media suicide prank gone wrong, alleging that her son was influenced by his 13-year-old girlfriend’s actions, after she faked her own suicide online.
Goss told the New York Post:
…He believed her and said, ‘I’m going to kill myself’… They’re young and all that, but I feel like when you’re 13, you’re completely knowledgeable of your choices and you know right from wrong.
I do feel like she took advantage of a younger boy to control and manipulate him. He was probably the most amazing kid that you would ever know.
He was in every sport, he was super social, he had tons of friends and every single person who knew him loved him … [He] was the last person who would choose this choice, which I think was an impulsive choice.
The grieving mother added, ‘I don’t feel like it should be taken lightly’ and believes those involved should be held ‘legally responsible for this horrific prank.’
Police are investigating the death but have declined to comment on the mum’s claims. Capt. Mike Kohler told the New York Post that ‘If criminal charges are going to come out of this, they’ll be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for review.’
Our thoughts are with Tysen’s family at this devastating time.
If you need to talk about any of the issues raised by Tysen’s story, please call Samaritans for free on 116 123 anytime.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.