Alyssa Funke Death: UWRF Student From Stillwater, MN Kills Herself After Cyber Bullying

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
May 23, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Alyssa Funke, a student at the University of Wisconsin’s River Falls campus, killed herself after being cyber bullied.

Funke was targeted after she was outed by a classmate following her involvement in the porn industry.

Funke said in her casting call video that she wanted to be a biology major and a chemistry minor, with dreams of becoming an anesthesiologist.

She referred to herself as Stella Ann in the video, which was later posted online.

When she was outed, classmates and former classmates from Stillwater High School, sent her taunting messages on Facebook and Twitter, calling her a prostitute and wondering whether her father knew.

Funke appeared to be trying to get over the taunts, posting on Twitter “famous for dayzzz” and “pornstar status, a-okay”–but on April 14 she bought a shotgun, drove to the Big Carnelia Lake boat landing, and killed herself. She was 19.

Funke’s family told Fox that Funke had depression at times and that they believe the taunts significantly contributed to the suicide.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the death but detectives and a spokesperson for the high school say that they don’t believe anyone will be charged for the messages.

But social worker Joy Friedman believes that the people behind the messages are to blame for the death.

“I mean, I blame them ’cause everybody plays a role here. You can be a part — positive or negative. Why did no on go talk to her and say, ‘Girl, why did you do that? What can I do to help you?'” she explained. “Instead, we jump on the bandwagon and it’s her fault ’cause she got in a video.” 

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.