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

DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors have authorized computer-related charges against a juvenile after a Michigan mother says a social media and texting prank led her 11-year-old son to take his own life.

Katrina Goss said Thursday that she found her son, Tysen Benz, hanging by the neck March 14 in his room after seeing social media posts and texts that his 13-year-old girlfriend had killed herself.

Goss said the girl and some of her friends orchestrated the prank.

“She had pranked her own death,” Goss, 41, said of her son’s girlfriend. “I don’t know what possessed her to do such a weird prank. It’s a twisted, sick joke.”

The unnamed juvenile is being charged in Marquette County with telecommunication services-malicious use and using a computer to commit a crime, Marquette city police Capt. Michael Kohler said in a news release.

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Police would not release the age of the juvenile charged or comment on what relationship the person had with the boy. The prosecutor’s office declined to comment Thursday.

Goss said that after seeing posts about his girlfriend, Tysen replied over social media that he was going to kill himself. She said those involved in the prank didn’t tell an adult even then.

“The whole thing happened in about 40 minutes,” Goss said. “He was fine and then I found him. I don’t know what she said she did to herself.”

Tysen was rushed to an area hospital and later transferred to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, near Detroit. He died Tuesday.

“Social media harassment, bullying and pranking is a huge issue,” Goss added. “The way it’s used nowadays, kids are desensitized to social media and it really does hurt people.”

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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