Warning: This post contains an account of youth suicide and may distressing for some readers.
After allegedly falling victim to a cruel social media prank by his teenage girlfriend, Tysen Benz ended his life.
The 11-year-old from Michigan was alone in his bedroom on a Tuesday night when he reportedly read a message from a friend of the 13-year-old girl saying she was dead.
“She logged into a friend’s account to make it look like it was a friend messaging to say she had committed suicide,” Tysen’s mother, Katrina Goss, 41, told Nine News.
“She convinced him so much, and he had such a kind heart and he was so naive that he completely believed her.”
Just hours after congratulating her middle child for taking himself to and from tutoring and watching him trudge happily to his room, the mother-of-three was desperately trying to revive him.
Meanwhile, her eldest son was on the phone to emergency services.
All I've ever done is try my hardest to protect you, but I couldn't protect you from this…… I'm so sorry my beautiful sweet baby. 💕❤💓 I love you.
“It was about 10.15pm and I tucked my littlest in first, and then went to find Tysen and I unlocked his door,” she told Nine News.
“I didn’t see him, so I thought he was being silly and just hiding on me. It wasn’t that.
“It was mass hysteria, I started screaming, it all went so fast.”
When they arrived, paramedics were unable to restart the Tysen’s heart but he remained comatose in hospital for three weeks before his mum made the difficult decision to take him off life support.
The 13-year-old girl, who went to the same school as Tysen, has since been charged with malicious use of a telecommunication service and using a computer to commit a crime.