Katelyn Nichole Davis committed suicide over the weekend, and in a morbid final act, the 12-year-old girl allegedly posted live-streaming video of it on Facebook.
The Georgia girl was found outside her home on December 30 with what the Northwest Georgia News described as “self-inflicted wounds.” Paramedics tried to save the girl after she was first found just after 6 p.m., but Davis was declared dead at the Polk Medical Center’s Emergency Room.
Police are reportedly investigating the allegations that Katelyn Nichole Davis posted live video of her suicide. The Polk County Police Department had obtained a search warrant for the girl’s phone and Facebook account, as well as a third social media site, Northwest Georgia News reported.
But while police continue to investigate, a video identified as the 12-year-old’s suicide was posted across social media. An Instagram page identified as belonging to Davis also had messages about heartbreak and a note posted five days before her death that read, “Reblog in memory of those who have committed suicide.”
[If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and talk with someone either online or by phone. Information on suicide hotlines outside the United States can be found here.]
The 12-year-old’s alleged suicide was not the only morbid event shown to the internet on Facebook Live, whether intentional or not. The social media site’s live-streaming video feature has caught other disturbing moments, including a car crash last month that took the lives of two teenagers.
Brooke Miranda Hughes and her passenger, 19-year-old Chaniya Morrison-Toomey, were traveling on Interstate 380 in Pennsylvania when Hughes started the Facebook app to film a live video, People reported. In the video — which was deleted later — Morrison-Toomey was heard asking “Are you doing live?”
The video then showed a flash inside the car and the sound of tires screeching to a stop, the Scranton Times-Tribune reported. State police later determined that the teenagers were driving very slow on a spare tire and were hit from behind by a tractor-trailer.
Investigators said the car was so badly burnt that they could not visually identify either teen.
The Facebook Live video of the crash was viewed more than 7,000 times before being taken down. A spokesperson for the site said that videos may not be automatically deleted for having graphic content.
“People watching Live video can report potential violations of our Community Standards, and we will take the appropriate action,” Andrea Saul, a Facebook spokeswoman, told the Scranton Times-Tribune.
“We also encourage people to contact law enforcement if they see a Live stream in which someone is in danger.”
Authorities were not clear how the video ended up on Facebook, as these videos require someone to push a button on the phone to post it online. It could have been someone who found the phone, as the video showed a bearded man speaking just before it ended.
Facebook Live has captured other graphic moments, including the controversial shooting death of Philando Castile in Minnesota last year. Castile was at a traffic stop when he was shot and killed by a police officer. As he lay dying, his girlfriend filmed a live video to tell viewers that Castile was shot while allegedly reaching for his wallet, and had no weapon on him.
The officer who shot Castile has since been charged with his killing.
Police said they are still investigating the allegation that Katelyn Nichole Davis posted a video of her suicide. In the meantime, videos identified as the 12-year-old’s suicide have been deleted from video-sharing sites.
[Featured Image by artolympic/iStock]