Online game claims life of Gwinnett County teenager - CBS46 News

Online game claims life of Gwinnett County teenager

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(Source: Teen's family) (Source: Teen's family)
GWINNETT COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

CBS46 has confirmed a deadly online game has claimed a life in Georgia.

It's called "The Blue Whale Challenge" and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says a Gwinnett County teenager played the game and took her own life as a result.

The family is devastated, wondering how an online game could cause someone they loved so much to kill themselves. She was just 16-years-old when she killed herself last May.

Her family wanted to tell her story, but didn't want to reveal her name or their identities for privacy.

Her brother says she was playing the online game. 

"I lost my sister to it, or at least part of it. By the looks of everything we found, it's a major part of it, and there need to be awareness," says her brother.

Here's what makes the challenge so dangerous -- it targets teens through social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Players are given tasks daily over 50 days. First, they're told to do simple things like watch scary movies or listen to music sent by an anonymous online administrator.

Eventually they're told to cut themselves.

Later in the game, they're told to sit on a roof with their legs hanging over the edge, similar to a picture the teen took before her death.

"One of the pictures is from our roof, and it's something that the game asks," says her mother.

At the end, the teen is told to kill themselves.

The challenge is said to have started in Russia two years ago. Since then, suicides suspected to be linked to the challenge have been reported around the world, and at least one teen suicide in San Antonio, Texas, is believed to have been inspired by the challenge in July.

The GBI says there is enough evidence to link the Gwinnett County teen's suicide to the challenge.

"We don't want to cause unnecessary alarm, but for us, one is too many, and we want to make sure that this does not happen again," says GBI public affairs director Nelly Miles.

The GBI adds that it's important for parents and grandparents to understand what teens and young adults are doing online, what they're looking at and who they're talking to.

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