An 8-year-old New Jersey girl may have killed herself via hanging, and officials recently revealed that she might have been inspired by a story she saw on social media.
Imani McCray reportedly hung herself on Sunday night, according to investigators in Essex County, New Jersey. WNBC, citing the investigation, reported that she might have been trying to copy another girl.
— Dat Fiya (@DatFiya) December 14, 2017
A 10-year-old Colorado girl, Ashawnty Davis, also hanged herself several weeks ago. News of the incident was subjected to heavy media coverage. In Ashawnty’s case, she had apparently been bullied, according to her family.
HEARTBREAKING: When little 10-year-old Ashawnty Davis tried defending herself against a bully, a student filmed it instead of helping. When the video appeared on social media, the fifth grader killed herself, her parents say: https://t.co/ZvumzbZoYx pic.twitter.com/hzfSW3nBPl
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) December 2, 2017
Authorities said that Imani’s relative frantically tried to revive her after she was sent to her room for a timeout, WNBC reported. When paramedics arrived at the scene, she had a faint pulse.
Prosecutors later said that she was pronounced dead at Newark’s University Hospital.
Officials said there’s no indication that Imani was bullied before her death.
The family said she would have turned 9 next week.
“It’s tragic … it’s just a horrible, horrible thing, no matter what the circumstances were around it, any time an 8-year-old child is dead is just horrible,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said of the incident on Wednesday, according to NJ.com.
“My heart goes out to them. I hope it’s not bullying, I hope it isn’t a copycat, I hope it’s none of those things. … We just have to do better, you know all of us, as a community, as a society, we just have to do better.”
A woman identifying herself as the girl’s grandmother wrote a message on Facebook. “My only granddaughter who is 8 yrs old passed away yesterday. …for this baby, life had only just begun. Dear god nobody saw this coming. When she called me nana it made my heart smile and right now it’s broken.”
The number of middle school girls harming themselves has nearly tripled since 2005, a trend that emerged with the increasing popularity and access to smartphones, Washington Post reported. The soaring popularity of smartphones also coincided with a rise in suicide for people aged 10-24.
According to Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, teens who spend five or more hours online per day were 71 percent more likely to report at least one suicide risk factor compared to teens that spend one hour or less online per day, according to an editorial in the Washington Post.
If you enjoyed reading this article, support our independent journalism by sharing it on social media. Thank you very much!