After turning to social media for lockdown assistance, a 12-year-old schoolboy found dead in his room is thought to have taken part in a bizarre TikTok suicide challenge on the website.
The lifeless body of Colbert Munoz was discovered by his father, Luis Munoz, and his mother, Katiuska Beltran, in the bedroom of their Chilean home.
With a timer on the clock, the couple found his machine open, raising suspicions that he had been under pressure to complete a sick challenge.
Colbert’s tragic death points to a suicide, according to local officials, although this has yet to be verified by investigators who are preparing to look into the boy’s phone.
Katiuska, speaking on Chilean TV, said the pandemic was “very complicated” for her son and “stressed him a lot,” leading him to turn to social media networks.
She said Colbert was “clinging” to his online universe, and branded “evil” and “demons” as the producers of such challenges.
The pandemic was very hard on him, Katiuska said. It depressed him a lot and I think this helped him get even more into social media networks.
“I can tell that today I hate them [social networking networks], but that’s what keeps me linked to a living kid, so I’m battling against an unavoidable future, but a necessary future.”
Luis, Colbert ‘s dad, said that his son was deeply involved in social media apps, particularly TikTok, and dreamed of fame.
He also compared the app to giving a revolver to children that they “prime with ammunition” as the sites become more ingrained.
Luis said: “Let’s worry about our children to all the parents. Don’t encourage kids to have a cell phone in hand just because you’re more secure and free from the burden.”