Two pre-teens in Florida were charged with cyberstalking following the suicide of a middle-school classmate, according to reports.
Police announced Monday that the 12-year-old suspects were arrested in connection to the Jan. 10 death of Gabriella Green, who allegedly took her own life at her Glades home, the Northwest Florida Daily reported.
Gabriella, 12, reportedly received harassing messages from Surfside Middle School classmates before she went into a closet and hanged herself with a dog leash, according to the Florida Times Union.
Authorities didn’t release the names of the suspects because they are minors.
The arrests came after investigators reviewed several cellphones and social media accounts, according to officials.
Police interviewed both of the suspects, who allegedly confessed to cyberbullying Green.
“[The suspect’s] actions consisted of starting rumors of the victim having sexually transmitted diseases, vulgar name-calling … and threats to ‘expose’ personal and sensitive details of the victim’s life,” the police report said, according to the Florida Times Union.
The other minor involved in the case is accused of encouraging Green to commit suicide.
“[He] responded by saying something to the effect of, ‘If you’re going to do it, just do it,’ and ended the call,” police said in a report obtained by the Florida Times Union. “He immediately regretted that statement, and began calling and text-messaging her, but did not receive a response.”
Police, however, said the investigation didn’t reveal that cyberbullying was the sole cause of death.
Gabriella’s mom, Tanya, called the arrests “gratifying,” but said more needs to be done to prevent cyberbullying, according to the Northwest Florida Daily.
“It’s going to help others at her school,” she said. “It’s going to start at her school. It’s going to help others around the world.”
By JACKIE SALO