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Wednesday, September 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

Boy, 11, hangs himself after fake social media posts

This undated family photo provided by Katrina Gross shows her son Tysen Benz. Benz, an 11-year-old Michigan boy hanged himself in his room after seeing social media posts indicating that his girlfriend had committed suicide. The posts turned out to be a prank. (Katrina Gross / Associated Press)
This undated family photo provided by Katrina Gross shows her son Tysen Benz. Benz, an 11-year-old Michigan boy hanged himself in his room after seeing social media posts indicating that his girlfriend had committed suicide. The posts turned out to be a prank. (Katrina Gross / Associated Press)

Now a prosecutor is pursuing criminal charges against a juvenile accused of being involved in the scheme, which Katrina Goss described as “a twisted, sick joke.”

Goss described her son as appearing “fine” just 40 minutes before she found him.

“I just want it be exposed and be addressed,” Goss said of school bullying in general and cyberbullying in particular. “I don’t want it be ignored.”

Using a cellphone he bought without his mother’s knowledge, Tysen on March 14 was reading texts and other messages about the faked suicide and decided he would end his life too, his mother said.

After seeing the posts about his girlfriend, Tysen replied over social media that he was going to kill himself, and no one involved in the prank told an adult, Goss said.

The boy died Tuesday at a Detroit-area hospital. Full story.




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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.