A grieving mother claims she lost her daughter to suicide after the 32-year-old mother of two became involved in what’s known as the “Blue Whale Challenge” suicide game.
Sandy Cadena of Wichita Falls, Texas, told USA Today that her daughter Natasha was pressured to kill herself by someone she claims is profiting from the elusive, sinister game.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the game is believed to have originated in Russia, where some reports have said it has claimed the lives of 130 teenagers. The game requires participants to meet increasingly dangerous and violent “challenges” involving various forms of self-harm, like sleep deprivation and self-inflicted cuts. The final challenge directs the player to take their own life, and send video documentation to the person controlling the game.
One Reddit poster who claimed to have played the Blue Whale Challenge said the people behind it killed their dog after they tried to end the game, and threatened to go after their family if they didn’t complete the challenge by ending their life.
Mrs. Cadena told USA Today that Natasha, who left behind a seven-year-old daughter, had struggled with depression, and began hurting herself after forming an online friendship with a woman named “Loretta,” who Mrs. Cadena believes lured Natasha to her death.
“Natasha was told to do hurtful things to herself,” Mrs. Cadena said. “She would cut herself, around her neck, other places, and then show this woman, take a video of the cuts.”
Mrs. Cadena claims that the person or people Natasha was speaking two would demand money from her, and that she gave them $300 a month, dying with only $7 to her name. Natasha’s mother appears to believe that the people behind her daughter’s suicide are profiting somehow by the videos of their deaths, though the USA Today report does not go into detail about how she came to that conclusion.
“These people pay top dollar to watch someone kill themselves,” she told the newspaper. “They’re just damn murdering people, professional scammers.”
The grieving mother also claims that this woman, “Loretta,” called her to tell her that Natasha had killed herself, and then called back again shortly after Mrs. Cadena found her daughter dead by hanging in apartment.
“Somehow she got my number, and she told me, ‘Hey, you might want to go check on your daughter. I think she just killed herself.'”
Earlier this month, the family of a 15-year-old Texas boy who hung himself said they believe he was driven to suicide by the Blue Whale Challenge.
Mrs. Cadena told USA Today that, for now, she has not been able to convince police to take her concerns about Blue Whale seriously.
“I don’t think they believe me,” she said. “I want them to believe me.”