The mother of a 13-year-old boy who took his own life is blaming his death on a “sick joke” played by the boy’s so-called girlfriend on social media.
Tysen Benz of Ann Arbor, Michigan, died on Tuesday after doctors took him off life support. He was hospitalized on March 14 after his mother, Katrina Goss discovered him hanging in an apparent suicide attempt.
His mother blames her son’s death on a classmate who Tysen considered his girlfriend. Goss told the New York Post that the 13-year-old girl, who has not been identified, faked her own suicide on social media.
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. So, he believed her and said, ‘I’m going to kill myself.’
Gross told the newspaper she didn’t understand why the girl did it.
“I don’t know what she actually thought,” Goss said. “I feel like she certainly took it to the extreme, using other people’s accounts, with other people backing it up on several social media platforms … I don’t know how or why she initiated this.”
William Saunders, superintendent of Marquette Area Public Schools, told the New York Post that authorities were still investigating the incident, and did not have many details to share. He did share his concerns about the dangers of social media.
“Many of us have followed Tysen’s mother on social media and agree wholeheartedly in her statements regarding the dangers of social media,” Saunders said to the New York Post. “After the gut-wrenching loss of a student we ask ourselves, ‘How can we do more?’