In the past three weeks, there were two teenager girls who committed suicide while live streaming it to social media. One was Katelyn Nicole Davis, 12 years old, from Georgia — and the other Nakia Venant, 14 years old, from Florida.
Katelyn filmed herself hanging from a tree in front of her house in Polk County, GA — this was on December 30. In the video, she said she was sexually abused by a family member, said she was really sorry, that she did not deserve to live, said “goodbye,” then hanged herself. The video was streamed on live.me and continued to record for more than 10 minutes before a voice called to her — and the video ended. A police officer from California saw the video and contacted Polk County authorities. It seems like an ambulance came and tried to save her, but she was pronounced dead at a hospital. The video has been taken down, but it continues to be shared and re-posted on the internet. Many want the video to be permanently taken off the internet, but there are no laws that police can use to enforce their removal.
There is now an investigation in the suicide and possible abuse, but no charges have been filed so far. It appears that Katelyn had a blog and made several social media postings that gives details of a difficult and abusive home life, and it had discussion of a previous suicide attempt.
The second teenager is Nakia Venant, 14, from Miami Gardens, Florida. She used Facebook Live on Saturday night - Sunday morning to film herself talking for around two hours in a bathroom — and the video ended with her hanging herself with a scarf attached to shower door frame around 3 am. A friend saw it on Facebook, called the police, who came the friend’s house. The friend gave them an incorrect address of where Nakia was. Police went to the incorrect house, but finally got the right address — but by the time they got to Nakia’s house, they were unable to resuscitate her and she was pronounced dead at a hospital. Nakia lived in a foster home and her foster parents were asleep at the time. She was born in Haiti, moved to the U.S., was at a school, but she’s now no more. There is now an investigation in the death, and because it was a foster child, there will be multiple departments working together to find out the circumstances related to the death.
It’s a terrible combination of teenager suicide and LIVE streaming on social media. There were two other similar online suicide incidents in France and Thailand, but they were were stopped when people quickly alerted police of the attempts.
I want to say it’s very sad for me to report this news, but I am doing so because you never know if there’s someone in your family or circle of friends that is going through a tough time — maybe it’s you. You can text anytime to talk to a counselor on Crisis Text Line — just text “HELLO” to 741-741, it’s a 24/7 support line. Or you could reach out to someone in your area. Always look for help.