Florida Sheriff Grady Judd speaks on Rebecca Sedwick suicide from social media bullying
Detectives in Polk County made a tragic discovery this week when a missing girl was found dead in Lakeland, from an apparent suicide. Her mother says she was a victim of relentless bullying and Sheriff Grady Judd addressed the issue in a statement.
Rebecca Ann Sedwick, age 12, was last seen alive early Monday morning leaving her home.
Judd said the bullying apparently began some time ago last year over a “boyfriend issue” with a group of girls who used to be her friends.
Investigators spoke to several of the minors who were in Rebecca’s social media circle, and Judd said that some of the girls told them that Rebecca was “absolutely terrorized” on social media by some of the girls.
The situation apparently came to a head in December, when Judd said her mother Tricia Norman had noticed cuts on Rebecca’s wrist, which her daughter said was because she was being bullied.
Judd revealed a search of the teen’s computer revealed searches: “What is overweight for a 13 year old girl?” “How to get blades out of razors?” “How many Advil do you need to take to die?” “How many over the counter drugs do you take to die?”
“It’s one of the saddest situations I’ve seen,” Judd said.
Rebecca had problems being bullied in the past which led to a school change and a brief stint homeschooling.
Sadly the bullying continued on social media platforms like Kick, Ask.FM and Instagram. Judd said Rebecca received messages like “You should die” and “Why don’t you go kill yourself?”
Judd said investigators went to the abandoned cement plant, where they learned she liked to hang out, which is where they found her body.
Judd said the building has a tower with three levels: 19 feet, 24 feet and 60 feet. Judd said Rebecca could have jumped from any of those levels.
“At some point in time, we believe early in the day on Sept. 1, she climbed the cement tower and jumped off, fatally injuring herself,” he said.
Judd said the autopsy found that Rebecca died from multiple blunt force trauma, the result of her apparent jump from the tower.