11-year-old boy killed himself after falling for a social media prank


by Emma Dodds |
Published on

11-year-old Tyson Benz from Michigan hanged himself after being the victim of a cruel prank

An 11-year-old boy has died after being the victim of a cruel social media prank made up by his own friends.

Tysen Benz, from Michigan, US, was rushed to hospital three weeks ago after his mum, Katrina Goss, found him trying to hang himself.

She set up a Go Fund Me page to cover Tysen's medical expenses, but the boy devastatingly passed away on Tuesday 4 April.

Tysen was only 11-years-old when he attempted suicide (Credit: Facebook/ Katrina Goss) ©Facebook/ Katrina Goss

Distraught mum Katrina, who blames Tysen's 13-year-old girlfriend for his death, described her fury to The New York Post: "I'm quite angry. I feel like, yeah, they're young and all that.

"You're completely knowledgeable of your choices and you know right from wrong. You can make your own choices."

She believes that Tysen was the victim of a "manipulative" prank by the 13-year-old girl, saying that she made it looked as though "she'd killed herself" and encouraged Tysen to do the same.

Mum Katrina here with her son Tysen when he was a baby (Credit: Facebook/ Katrina Goss) ©Facebook/ Katrina Goss

Katrina found her son trying to hang himself on 14 March. After he was rushed to hospital and put on life support, he sadly died on Tuesday.

And now Katrina wants those responsible to be held to account: "I don't feel like it should be taken lightly - they should be held legally responsible for this horrific prank."

Captain Mike Kohler from the Marquette Police Department confirmed that there was an investigation underway into the boy's death, but did not want to comment further: "If criminal charges are going to come out of this, they'll be forwarded to the prosecutor's office for review."

Katrina believes Tysen was the victim of a social media prank (Credit: Facebook/ Katrina Goss) ©Facebook/ Katrina Goss

On the Go Fund Me page, Katrina described Tysen as an: "Athlete, comedian, friend, brother, charismatic and all-round amazing child."

She updated the kind people who had donated $32,945 in total to their campaign, telling them that he "clung on" thanks to the life support, but that he has now "been set free and can Rest In Peace."

She added: "He was loved by everyone he knew and he will absolutely never be forgotten. Our family is completely heartbroken."

Katrina then implored families with teenage children to watch out: "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.

"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 & fighting against social media bullying!"

Have you or a loved one ever had to deal with childhood bullying? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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