11-year-old boy takes his own life after a texting prank, gone too far

Natalie Sherwood

HC Tiger times

4/19/17

Recently, an 11 year-old boy committed suicide due to text messages he had received, that were later discovered to be false.

Tysen Benz, from Marquette, Michigan, hung himself on March 14th. He did not leave behind a note explaining his decision. Benz’s mother, Katrina Gloss, has stated that her son was the victim of a prank that eventually lead to his suicide.

A 13-year-old girl was charged with malicious use of telecommunication services, and was also charged for using her computer to send false reports of her own death to Benz, county prosecutor, Matt Wiese, reported. The messages were categorized as “Hoax” and “Prank-like”, and are suspected to be the reason behind Benz’s unexpected suicide.

Benz considered the girl to be his “girlfriend”, however never addressed this to his mother, who did not approve of dating at such a young age. “He did not have my permission to be dating,” said Mrs. Goss. “He didn’t tell me she was his girlfriend because he knew I would disapprove.” Mrs. Goss claims that she did not approve of cellphones at his age either. Benz bought the phone in which he received the messages off of himself. “I would never buy my kids phones,” she reported. “I think that’s ridiculous.”

Benz was left on life support at the Hospital within the University of Michigan until April 4th, where he later passed away due to the residing injuries. His funeral was scheduled on Tuesday, April 11th.

Pranks have become an online popularity. Though pranks may be fun and games, they can lead to harm upon the victims. The person behind the prank could get into legal trouble. Some pranks become dangerous, especially when encountering a stranger with no sense in the joke.

If you, or someone you know, struggles with suicidal thoughts, just know that whatever you’re going through, you don’t have to go through it alone. Call 1-800-273-8255.

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