WASHINGTON, DC - A 12-year-old Florida girl who suffered months of ruthless cyberbullying from other girls committed suicide this week, authorities say.
Rebecca Ann Sedwick of the town of Lakeland in central Florida jumped from a platform at an abandoned cement plant near her home on Monday, according to the Polk County sheriff's office.
Her death is the latest in an apparently growing phenomenon of youths driven to taking their own lives after suffering cruel treatment online via text and photo messaging applications.
More than a dozen girls have been identified as possibly involved in the bullying of Sedwick, Polk County sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference.
The bullying apparently started with a dispute over a boy that Sedwick had dated for a while, the New York Times reported.
According to her mother Tricia Norman, Sedwick received text messages that said things like "You're ugly", "Why are you still alive?" and "Go kill yourself."
Judd, the sheriff, said the girl was "absolutely terrorised on social media."
At one point, the mother had pulled her daughter out of school and transferred her to another, closed down the girl's Facebook page and took away her cellphone.
Things seems to be getting better and Rebecca's spirits seemed to be lifting at her new school.
But she also secretly signed on to new apps such as a cellphone message application called Kik Messenger and the bullying resumed, the Times said.
In Kik Messenger, Sedwick had changed her user name to "That Dead Girl," the Times said.