Mom: Son, 11, Killed Self After Girlfriend Faked Suicide

Authorities investigating what Tysen Benz's mom calls an online prank
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2017 7:00 AM CDT
Mom: Son, 11, Killed Self After Girlfriend Faked Suicide
Tysen Benz was 11 when he hanged himself in his closet.   (GoFundMe)

Life was good for Tysen Benz, an 11-year-old middle school student in Marquette, Mich., whom his mother, Katrina Goss, describes as being happy, athletic, and very social. Then he began dating a 13-year-old girl Goss calls mean and controlling, and suddenly, the unthinkable: Goss went to tuck her son into bed one night and found him in his closet, hanging from a belt, reports the New York Daily News. That was on March 14. This Tuesday, the boy died at the University of Michigan's hospital in Ann Arbor. Goss alleges the boy's girlfriend played a "horrific social media prank," telling her son she was going to kill herself and then writing from another friend's device that she was dead. Goss says that led her son to attempt suicide, and that she doesn't know why the alleged prank was pulled.

Marquette Police have confirmed to BuzzFeed that a 13-year-old girl has just been charged with "malicious use and computer-using to commit a crime," but they did not address Goss' specific allegations. Goss writes on a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $30,000 that her son "impulsively chose to end his own life" as a result of the prank and urges families to "speak out, reach out and communicate with your children" about the dangers of social media. "I'm angry," Goss tells the New York Post. "Yeah, they're young and all that, but I feel like when you're 13, you're completely knowledgeable of your choices and you know right from wrong." (More kids ages 10 to 14 are now dying from suicide than in car accidents.)

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