Video of 12-year-old girl's suicide goes viral online and US police say they are powerless to stop it

Video of 12-year-old girl's suicide goes viral online and US police say they are powerless to stop it
Katelyn in a photo posted to Instagram.
PHOTO: Instagram screengrab

A video of a 12-year-old girl hanging herself after alleging she was abused by a relative has been streamed across the Internet on Facebook Live, according to reports.

The video has since gone viral and is now being replayed on other websites, and US police say they are powerless to stop it.

Katelyn Nicole Davis, of Cedartown, Georgia, streamed herself on Facebook Live on Dec 30, saying that she had been sexually abused by a family member. She continued filming as she hanged herself in the front yard of her home.

Now the video is being shared online, and Polk County authorities say they are powerless to stop it proliferating, Fox 5 reported on Wednesday (Dec 11).

Police rushed to Davis' home to save the girl on the evening of her suicide, but she was pronounced dead after being taken to Polk Medical Centre's Emergency Room.

The video - which ends with the girl hanging from the tree for around 20 minutes as the sun sets, while a woman off-camera can be heard calling her name - was then removed from her Facebook page, said a Daily Mail report.

In the weeks since her death, however, the Polk County Police Department has been flooded with calls from as far abroad as Britain, alerting them to websites sharing the video.

One was from a California police officer who saw the video on the night of Davis' death.

"We were actually contacted by a police officer from California who saw it the night of the event," Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd told Fox 5.

Chief Dodd personally contacted several of the individuals operating the websites that posted the disturbing footage, said Fox 5.

He urged them to pull the video, without success. The chief said he wishes he could force them to take it down legally, but his hands are tied.

"We want it down as much as anyone for the family, and it may be harmful to other kids," he said.

"We contacted some of the sites. They asked if they had to take it down, and by law they don't.

"But it's just the common decent thing to do in my opinion."

Police are investigating Katelyn's death.

According to Coosa Valley News on Wednesday, Davis posted on her blog on Dec 27 that she had been sexually abused by a relative.

It added that several of her postings have since been removed from numerous social media sites.

 

HELPLINES
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800-2214444
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-2837019
Sage Counselling Centre: 1800-5555555
Care Corner Mandarin Counselling: 1800-3535800


This article was first published on Jan 13, 2017.
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