8-year-old New Jersey girl hangs herself after reportedly reading about another girl's suicide
Imani had reportedly read the story and was sent to her room for a timeout, just minutes before she committed suicide
Eight-year-old Imani McCray from New Jersey committed suicide by hanging after she reportedly read about 10-year-old Ashawnty Davis' death on Facebook.
Ashawnty hanged herself in November and the news story about her death went viral on social media and enraged a lot of adults.
Imani had recently read the story of Ashawnty's death—the news had gained national media attention. On Sunday (December 10), after a unrlated incident, Imani was sent to her bedroom for a timeout.
Just minutes later, family members found her hanging. According to authorities, the family tried to revive the girl before the medics arrived at the house.
At 1:40pm, Imani's family called emergency services to their apartment in Newark.
According to NBC New York, when paramedics arrived at the apartment, they found that Imani had a faint pulse but she was declared dead at the University Hospital in Newark.
It is not clear what triggered Imani's apparent suicide. However, prosecutors in Essex County said that they were trying to figure out if the 8-year-old had seen the story of 10-year-old Ashawnty (who died a week earlier after being taken off life support after trying to hang herself in the closet) and copied her after what she read.
According to the prosecutors, Imani may have been trying to playact the tragic incident at her home, which eventually led to terrible consequences.
Imani was supposed to celebrate her ninth birthday next week. She died over a week after Ashawnty was taken off life support.
Imani was also a good student in her school which confuses her parents more about her unusual act. Was she just trying to see how Ashawnty took her life and then died because of it?
A video of Ashawnty being terribly bullied was uploaded to social media and this drove the 10-year-old to take her own life. She was on life support for two weeks before her parents finally decided to pull the plug.
Anthony Davis, Ashawnty's father, told KDVR-TV, "It's just devastating. She was just a child of joy and she brought joy to everyone."
Ashawnty was involved in a fight with another student after school. She was a fifth-grade student at Sunrise Elementary in Aurora. The entire fight was recorded by another student who was at the scene and uploaded to Musical.ly.
The video shows Ashawnty and another girl fighting as students gathered around to watch.
"I saw my daughter was scared," said Latoshia Harris, Ashawnty's mother. She said that her daughter had confronted the bully (the other girl in the video) just before the fight broke out.
Ashawnty's parents allowed KDVR-TV to broadcast parts of the fight clip on the condition that the children were blurred out.
According to her parents, after the clip was uploaded on Musical.ly, the child was frequently bullied and teased at school.
The poor child probably felt like she could no longer live with the shame she was going through. Her parents said that she turned into a different person after all the abuse she went through.
"My daughter came home two weeks later and hanged herself in the closet," Latoshia said.
The parents are spreading the word to other parents about 'bullycide' which is what happens when a child commits suicide due to bullying.
"We have to stop it and we have to stop it within our kids," Davis said.
Latoshia said, "I want other parents to know that it's happening. That was my baby and I love my baby and I just want mothers to listen."
According to authorities, there was no indication to suggest that Imani was bullied. Her family is busy making funeral arrangements.
More than 3.2 million students in the US alone fall victim to bullying in some form or the other. Approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying and 17% of American students report being bullied 2 to 3 times a month or more within a school semester.
Imani's grandmother posted a heartfelt status on Facebook.
It's time to stand up against bullying. Visit Stopbullying.gov to learn more about what you can do.
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