Michigan Mom: Son’s Suicide the Result of Social Media Prank
An 11-year-old boy hanged himself after his girlfriend used social media to trick him into thinking she had committed suicide. Tysen Benz of Marquette spent three weeks on life support at the U of M hospital in Ann Arbor where he died Tuesday (4/4).
Katrina Goss tells CBS her son was "pranked" and "manipulated" by a 13-year-old girl.
"She told him she was going to kill herself and used other friends’ social media accounts to put forth further fake proof that she did so,” Goss claims. “He even said he was going to kill himself and she didn’t make any attempt to call me or someone else to try to stop him."
The 13-year-old girl's identity is being withheld because of her age.
Goss made a statement to Marquette's WLUC-TV, urging parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of the internet and social media:
"My son Tysen Benz was an 11 year old student, athlete, comedian, friend, brother, charismatic and all around amazing child. On Tuesday March 14th he impulsively chose to end his own life as a result of a horrific act of a social media prank which is under investigation by authorities. He clung on with the help of life support until Tuesday April 4th. He has now been set free and can Rest In Peace. He was loved by everyone he knew and he will absolutely never be forgotten. Our family is completely heartbroken. I urge families to speak out, reach out and communicate with your children about life's precious gift and the dangers of the internet and texting and how telecommunications can have the same effects as speaking face to face. 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!!"