FOX NEWS - A grieving Texas family claims a social media challenge that was believed to be a hoax drove their 15-year-old son to commit suicide on Saturday. Isaiah Gonzalez, of San Antonio, was allegedly participating in the “Blue Whale Challenge,” which is believed to have originated in Russia.
According to the teen’s mother, Angela Gonzalez, the rising sophomore at Southside High School had joined a social media group and was assigned daily tasks for a 50-day period, WOAI reported.
“It talks about satanic stuff and stuff like that and my son was never into that,” Jorge Gonzalez, the teen’s father, told the news station, of the challenge.
“You have to carve a number into your arm, you have to cut yourself,” Alexis Gonzalez, the teen’s older sister, told WOAI, adding that failure to complete the alleged tasks reportedly results in threatening messages.
Jorge told KSAT that they found Gonzalez hanging in a bedroom closet with a cellphone propped up nearby. The family believes their son had livestreamed his suicide as part of the challenge. They said he had sent photos of himself completing challenges to friends prior to his death, but that they had been brushed off as a joke.
While San Antonio police told KSAT they had never heard of the “Blue Whale Challenge” before Gonzalez’s death, Jorge is urging parents to talk to their teens about the danger of social media challenges.