***Scroll down for updates***
Two girls, ages 12 and 14, have been arrested on charges of felony aggravated stalking in the death of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick. Rebecca committed suicide on September 9, after police say she was “absolutely terrorized” online. You can read my first post about Rebecca HERE.
It’s a very sad and tragic story for everyone involved, but especially for Rebecca’s family. According to police, Rebecca had received horrible messages on her social media sites from girls who used to be her friends. Messages like, “Go kill yourself” and “Why are you still alive?” ultimately led to Rebecca’s decision to take her own life.
Authorities aren’t releasing the names of the two girls since they are minors.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is expected to hold a news conference this morning. He has said that the bullying started in 2012 and had initially begun over a “boyfriend issue.”
At Rebecca’s funeral, the pallbearers wore anti-bullying Tshirts, and more and more people have been speaking out against cyber-bullying since her death.
I’ll update as this case progresses.
UPDATE: 10/15/13 12:23 PM
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd held a press conference this morning, announcing the arrests of the two girls involved in Rebecca’s bullying.
He said they decided to proceed with the arrests after the 14-year-old girl posted a scathing message about the case on a social media site over the weekend. The message read, “Yes ik [I know] I bullied Rebecca and she killed her self but IDGAF [I don’t give a (expletive)].”
Sheriff Judd said the girl had threatened to beat up Rebecca, and had told her “to drink bleach and die.” He said he was afraid that if they didn’t arrest her today, she would bully someone else.
Some news outlets have started to publish the girls’ names, but I’m going to refrain from doing that unless they’re convicted.
UPDATE: 10/15/13 1:58 PM
Below is a picture of the message the 14-year-old posted over the weekend:
You can read the full statement about the arrests from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office HERE.
UPDATE: 10/15/13 4:37 PM
Video of the press conference is below. You can tell how passionate Sheriff Judd is about this case, as I think we all are.
UPDATE: 10/16/13 10:13 AM
Reporters from 10News interviewed the former boyfriend of both Rebecca and the 14-year-old. He said he knew of the bullying but was shocked when Rebecca killed herself.
That same article also has a quote from the 12-year-old accuser’s father. He says he feels horrible about what happened, but there are two sides to every story.
UPDATE: 11/22/13 10:47 AM
The charges against the two teens have been dropped. It looks like they will attend counseling instead of jail.
– 2 girls arrested in cyberbullying suicide of Polk teenager
– Rebecca Ann Sedwick suicide: 2 arrests made in death of bullied Florida girl
– Press Release from Polk County Sheriff’s Office
– Rebecca Sedwick’s former boyfriend, John Borgen, urges bullying witnesses to speak up after Sedwick’s suicide
– Charges dropped in Rebecca Sedwick bullying case