RCMP say boy in B.C. killed himself over online sextortion
Mounties in Prince George, B.C., say a 12-year-old boy killed himself in response to online sextortion.
Police announced the death in a statement on Monday, more than six weeks after the boy shot himself, to warn parents about the dangers to other children.
Officers went to the boy’s home on Oct. 12 and found him with a gunshot wound, police say.
“When we started investigating there were some things on his phone that didn’t quite add up,” said Cpl. Jennifer Cooper of Prince George RCMP.
Police delved further into messages the youth had been receiving and determined he has been the victim of “sextortion,” said Cooper.
“We are calling for parents and caregivers to be honest with their youth about the dangers of online activity, especially if they are engaging in chats with people they don’t know in real life,” said Cooper.
“While not every case of online sextortion will end in tragedy, the consequences of this kind of activity can follow a youth for their entire life, which needs to be something we talk about openly with our kids.”
Police say the practice of online predators extorting people for money or sexual favours is on the rise. Victims are threatened by their blackmailer that they will reveal the person’s online sexual activity if they don’t do what they ask for.
The statement says the Prince George detachment alone has received 62 reports of online sextortion so far this year, surpassing the 56 they had last year.