The tragic death of 11-year-old Tysen Benz was every mother’s worst nightmare. The athletic, friendly Michigan pre-teen hanged himself and ultimately succumbed to his injuries following a heartless social media prank allegedly perpetrated by his unnamed 13-year-old “girlfriend.” According to Tysen’s mom, Katrina Goss, the girl young Tysen was dating, took to social media to fake her own suicide; when Tysen learned the news of her “death,” he hanged himself with a belt on March 14.
Tysen Benz's mother speaks out about her son's suicide – Daily Mail: https://t.co/4HJgvLjEwN
— The ECP (@EvolvingParty) April 9, 2017
Tysen Benz never found out that his girlfriend was actually still alive, that the news of her suicide was nothing more than a cruel prank. After his mother found the 11-year-old clinging to life after his very real suicide attempt, she attempted CPR and called 911. She had gone to his room to kiss Tysen good-night only to find him nearly lifeless, hanging from a belt in his closet. As Us Weekly reports, first responders transported Tysen to a local hospital, and from there he was taken to University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. Tysen Benz would cling to life for three weeks before passing away on April 4.
According to his mother, Tysen was in no way depressed or otherwise mentally ill or compromised before he learned of his girlfriend’s “suicide” on social media. Rather, Katrina Goss says her son was the victim of of a senseless prank and social media bullying.
“He was not a kid who was all sad and depressed and had all these problems. For him to do that so suddenly just because of a girl, whatever she said… that just shows the effect of social media pranking and bullying.”
In fact, Tysen Benz’ mother is so furious about what led up to her 11-year-old son’s suicide that she wants to see his 13-year-old former “girlfriend” jailed for the fake suicide that led her son’s real death.
As Detroit Free Press reports, Tysen Benz’ mother says that on the day that her son hung himself, just hours before she found him barely alive, nothing seemed wrong with Tysen. She claims that she and Tyson even baked brownies together before he headed up to his room to, she believed, watch TV or play on his phone — a phone he had purchased for himself some time before.
Later, after finding her son barely clinging to life, Tysen’s mother says that when her son went upstairs, he became ensnared in a heartless social media prank. According to his Snapchatting and text messages, 11-year-old Benz thought that he was communicating with a friend of his 13-year-old girlfriend. Tysen reportedly read a social media post that indicated that his girlfriend had killed herself.
Tysen Benz, 11-Year-Old Boy, Hangs Himself After Girlfriend Fakes Suicide https://t.co/6gvCylAuJP
— Curtis Khan (@KhanCurtis) April 9, 2017
He responded by saying he was going to end his life, too.
Despite the fact that Tysen Benz specifically communicated that he was going to commit suicide, nobody who saw what was going on let the 11-year-old know that his girlfriend was still alive. Even though he was talking directly to his girlfriend at least at some point, she didn’t bother telling Tysen that she was “pranking” him, and nobody involved in the thoughtless situation bothered to tell and adult that Tysen Benz was planning on killing himself.
Tysen’s mom says that her son’s 13-year-old girlfriend wrote the post about her faked suicide herself using a friends account. Goss says that, inexplicably, the young teen chose to fake her own death and stick to the lie.
“She used her friend’s account to make it look like she died. Even when he said he was going to kill himself, she didn’t say, ‘I’m just kidding.’ She just left it alone.”
Suicide is not a joke. It's not a prank. Depression is a serious disease. Stop laughing. #tysenbenz
— Lauren Janelle Smith (@laurenjanelle87) April 7, 2017
Devastating the effects of social media and how kids using it don't understand that lying about suicide isn't a joke ???? #TysenBenz
— Sarah Nicoll ???? (@_sarahnicoll) April 9, 2017
Tysen benz girlfriend probably gonna kill herself now because of how yall make her look. I highly doubt she faked her death so hed make his
— cole philipp (@KnaxelBaby) April 9, 2017
— @carolineclare0 (@carolineclare0) April 6, 2017
Because Katrina Goss says that the 13-year-old knew what she was doing, she wants to see Tysen’s girlfriend punished to the fullest extent of the law.
“Even when you’re young you can still commit a crime. She’s intelligent. She knows right from wrong. She’s 13. She took advantage of a little 11-year-old.”
Tysen Benz’ mom went on to reiterate that her son was in no way suicidal before the cruel social media bullying.
“I think she deserves the highest punishment that she can get for her age. He wasn’t lonely or without friends. He was the absolute opposite of that. He played hockey, travel soccer, golf. He was an excellent bike rider.”
My prayers are with Tysen Benz's family and friends. Suicides are real and we all have the opportunity to help. When pranks go wrong. pic.twitter.com/UAFmVJvFpU
— Shenetta Malkia (@ShenettaMalkia) April 9, 2017
Apparently, local Michigan prosecutors agree with Goss. Tysen Benz’ girlfriend has now been criminally charged in connection with the 11-year-old’s suicide. The unnamed teen is facing telecommunication services-malicious use and using a computer to commit a crime charges in connection with her prank. As for Tysen’s mom, she doesn’t believe that “prank” is the right word for what the 13-year-old did.
“I don’t even think it’s a prank. I think it’s bullying.”
According to Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese, the 13-year-old crossed the line with the actions that led up to Tysen Benz’ death, and he wants to see her held accountable for her “reckless” behavior.
“I just felt that we had to have an impact on the 13-year-old, not necessarily punitive, but for accountability. Posting this hoax of somebody dying was pretty reckless.”
If convicted, the 13-year-old faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison for her alleged actions that led to the suicide of 11-year-old Tysen Benz.
[Featured Image by Katrina Goss/Facebook]