An 11-year-old Michigan boy died Tuesday, three weeks after he hanged himself following a twisted social media prank, according to his mother.
Tysen Benz of Marquette, Mich., was found by his mom on March 14 shortly after his 13-year-old girlfriend and her friends convinced Benz that the girl had killed herself, according to his mother, Katrina Goss, AP reported.
“She told him she was going to kill herself and used other friends’ social media accounts to put forth further fake proof that she did so,” Goss told CBS. “He even said he was going to kill himself and she didn’t make any attempt to call me or someone else to try to stop him. [His death] should never have happened.”
The Marquette County Prosecutor's office authorized charges for telecommunication services-malicious use and using a computer to commit a crime, Marquette city police Capt. Michael Kohler said in a news release.
Goss told CBS she did not approve of the relationship between her son and the older girl and had contacted the 13-year-old's parent and aunt. She said she hopes the devastating incident sends the message that parents have to be aware of the dark side of social media.
“Please monitor all of your children's technological device usage,” Goss said as a plea to parents. “It is not an invasion of privacy. It is imperative to know what they are doing and to whom they are socializing with.”