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Boy, 11, hanged himself after 'horrific social media prank'

By Arthur Weinreb     Apr 7, 2017 in Internet
Marquette - The mother of Tysen Benz is speaking out after her 11-year-old son was taken off life support and passed away. She says her son hanged himself after a social media prank wherein his 13-year-old girlfriend pretended to kill herself.
Tyler, of Marquette, Michigan, died Tuesday at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. He had been on life support since March 14. On that date Tyler’s mom, Katrina Goss, went into his bedroom to tuck him in for the night and found her son hanging in his room. She cut him down and performed CPR while other family members called 911.
Tyler was unresponsive and was rushed to a hospital in Marquette. He was later transferred to Ann Arbor.
Earlier in the evening of March 14, Tyler’s 13-year-old girlfriend and her friends decided it would be fun to play a prank. She communicated to Tysen she was going to kill herself. She later used friends’ social media accounts to confirm to Tysen she was in fact dead. Tyler had even told his girlfriend he would kill himself too but no one bothered to contact his mother or anyone else.
Goss was opposed to her son’s relationship with the older girl. She made her views known not only to the girl but to her parent and an aunt as well. But the relationship continued. Tysen and the girl continued to communicate on the device Tysen himself paid for.
After her son’s death, Goss issued a statement describing her son as a “student, comedian, friend, brother, charismatic and all around amazing child.” She urged parents to talk to their children about how precious life is and to talk to them about the dangers of the Internet and texting. She said the results can be the same as if they are speaking face to face. Goss also asked parents to monitor their children’s electronic devices saying it is not a breach of privacy; it is a necessity to know who your children are communicating with and what they are communicating about.
Yesterday Goss said how angry she is and wants the girl held liable for “this horrific prank.” Goss added even though the girl is young, she is old enough to know right from wrong. Goss accused the girl of controlling and manipulating the younger boy.
The New York Post reports the 13-year-old girl has been charged with one count each of malicious use of a telecommunications device and using a computer to commit a crime. Due to her age, the girl’s name is not being released.
More about social media prank, child suicide, tysen benz, Suicide, Social media
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