11-year-old hangs himself after girlfriend fakes suicide in alleged social media prank
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. (KTLA) - A juvenile was charged on Thursday after an alleged social media prank in which a Michigan teen faked her own suicide, leading her 11-year-old boyfriend to take his own life, according to reports.
Tysen Benz hanged himself after receiving texts and reading social media posts that said his 13-year-old girlfriend had committed suicide, his mother, Katrina Goss, told the Associated Press.
Goss was the one who found her son in his room, she said. The incident took place in a span of about 40 minutes.
The family soon learned the girlfriend was still alive.
"She had pranked her own death," Goss told AP. "I don't know what possessed her to do such a weird prank. It's a twisted, sick joke."
In a statement posted to a GoFundMe page, Goss wrote that the prank is what ultimately led her son to end his life on March 14.
Tysen was on life support until Tuesday, when he died, according to the fundraising page, which was first set up to pay for medical costs.
The prank was orchestrated by the teen and some of her friends, though it was unclear who was charged, AP reported.
The name of the juvenile who was charged has not been released by the Marquette County Prosecutor's Office because of his or her age, according to public radio station WNMU-FM in Marquette, Michigan.
The charges included malicious use of telecommunication services and using a computer to commit a crime, the station reported.
On the GoFundMe page, Goss described her son as an "all around amazing child," who was charismatic, athletic and a comedian. Her family is "completely heartbroken" over his death, she said.
"I want Tysen to be remembered as he was and all the joy he's brought to everyone. Keep his spirit alive by standing strong & fighting against social media bullying!!" she wrote in the statement.