Rebecca Sedwick’s ‘Disturbing’ Family Life May Have Contributed To Suicide

Rebecca Sedwick was found dead in an abandoned cement plant on September 10. The 12-year-old’s decision take her life was attributed to relentless bullying by two classmates. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is now saying that the bullying “only contributed” to the teen’s suicide.

Sheriff Polk said all three girls were raised in “disturbing environments.” Sedwick’s mother, Tricia Norman, has a long criminal history that spans more than 18 years. Norman was convicted of fraud, writing bad checks, and probation violations. Authorities said she has at least three aliases.

As reported by CBS News, Rebecca and her sister did not have a bedroom. Both girls slept in the living room — with Rebecca in a recliner and her sister on the couch. The girls’ clothing was stored in “grocery sacks,” which were kept in the living room.

Polk said Rebecca Sedwick had a “defeatist attitude.” In December 2012, she was hospitalized after cutting her wrists. She said she tried to take her life because she was being bullied. As reported by Daily Mail, Norman removed her daughter from the school. However, the bullying continued through social media. Norman said she did not know her daughter was still being harassed.

Norman’s attorney, David Henry, said his client is currently unemployed and receives no help from daughter’s father. Henry said Norman “was doing her best” under the circumstances.

In September, Rebecca Sedwick killed herself by jumping off an abandoned structure. One month after her death, 14-year-old Guadalupe Shaw and 12-year-old Katelyn Roman were arrested and charged with felonious stalking.

Shaw’s mother was arrested last week on two charges of child abuse and four charges of child neglect. Vivian Vosburg, age 30, reportedly punched two juvenile boys and called them obscene names. The incident was filmed and eventually posted online.

Sheriff Judd said Shaw’s family is “like a Jerry Springer episode.” He said they have expressed little remorse and “don’t seem to get it.”

Vosburg and her family have expressed remorse for the bullying and Sedwick’s death. The 12-year-old’s father said he does not know much about the internet, so he was unable to monitor his daughter’s behavior. He said he felt responsible for his daughter’s actions.

Sheriff Judd said he hopes something good will come out of Rebecca Sedwick’s tragic death. He wants school administrators, lawmakers, and parents, to be more pro-active in preventing similar situations.

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