Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide on September 9, 2013. The 12-year-old’s body was discovered in an abandoned cement factory the following morning. Authorities believe she climbed to the top of a tower and jumped to her death.
Rebecca’s parents said she was relentlessly bullied for nearly two years. On Monday, two teens were arrested and charged with aggravated stalking. The 12 and 14-year-old girls are accused of tormenting Rebecca until she took her life.
Authorities said the 14-year-old instigated the bullying. Sheriff Grady Judd said a Facebook post led to the girls’ arrest. As reported by CNN, the unidentified 14-year-old bragged about Rebecca’s death in a Facebook post.
In the post, the teen admitted bullying Rebecca Sedwick. She said she knew about the suicide, but did not “give a f**k.”
The accused bully’s parents believe their daughter’s Facebook account was hacked. They describe their daughter as a “loving” and “caring” girl, who would never harass or torment anyone.
As reported by ABC News, the teen’s parents said they checked their daughters online activity on a regular basis. They never observed any bullying or stalking behavior.
The father of the accused 12-year-old apologized for his daughter’s conduct. He said he knows little about social media sites, and wishes he could have done more to prevent “the whole situation.”
Sheriff Judd said both girls showed a lack of remorse, underlined by the Facebook post about her death.
All three girls were students at Crystal Lake Middle School in Polk County, Florida. The bullying began when Rebecca started dating the 14-year-old’s ex-boyfriend.
Authorities said the bullying grew increasingly worse over a period of 18 months. At school and on social media sites, the girls called Rebecca names and encouraged her to kill herself. One particularly cruel message encouraged the teen to “drink bleach and die.”
The bullying did not stop with verbal abuse. Authorities said the girls got into at least one physical confrontation on school grounds.
The 12 and 14-year-old were arrested and charged with felony stalking. The 12-year-old was released into her parents’ care. However, the 14-year-old remains incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility.
Rebecca Sedwick’s suicide is a grim reminder of the impact of bullying. Whether in person or online, the results of bullying are devastating.