The mother of Tysen Benz, 11, who killed himself after being tricked into believing his girlfriend, 13, had died, has spoken out about the horrible events.
Katrina Goss said she had no reason to suspect that her middle of three sons was in danger when she went up to tuck them in to bed.
Discovering his bedroom door was locked around 10pm, she found the key and unlocked it, only to find he wasn’t in his bed.
‘I went in and I thought he was being silly,’ the heartbroken mother told the Washington Post.
‘I ended up finding him in the closet . … I tried to hurry up and lift him up. I was screaming. I told my oldest son to call 911. My littlest one was bawling.’
It is believed that Tysen had found out over social media a friend, 13, believed to be his girlfriend, had committed suicide. But it was all an elaborate prank.
‘She did a prank that made it look like she killed herself and used other friends and their [social media] accounts to make it look like she killed herself,’ she explains.
Tysen was rushed to hospital where he spent three weeks on life support before passing away.
The 13-year-old girl is reported to have been arrested, facing charges related to the events that led to Tysen’s death.
His mother is determined to use Tysen’s tragic death as an example of how social media can have a real impact on people.
‘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’ she wrote on the GoFundMe page, raising money in the wake of Tysen’s death to fight cyber-bullying.
‘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 and fighting against social media bullying.’