Cedar Falls Police investigating 17-year-old's death - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls Police investigating 17-year-old's death

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Cedar Falls Police are investigating the death of a teenage boy. 

Police Chief Jeff Olson says a 17-year-old killed himself this week and they are investigating whether bullying played a factor in his death. Olson says they are working with the County Attorney to see if there is a criminal case.

Chief Olson says, "This is clearly a suicide but we are investigating beyond that to see if there was any criminal action leading to the suicide. Sadly, we see several suicide cases every year, but the circumstances surrounding this one makes it different."

Several messages prompted the investigation after being shared all over social media. It appears to show multiple people joking about the teen killing himself. One saying, "Do us a favor and kill yourself. Nobody (explicit) loves you."

Another responded saying, "Please- Lol your {sic} nothing, you don't have anything to your name, you are a (explicit) loser."  The victim posted the messages to his own public social media account weeks ago and has since been tweeting suggestive messages about suicide and depression.

Chief Olson says, "Many people have seen the messages on social media and there's been concern if there's been some bullying or not, so we are certainly looking into that and working with the County Attorney."

A tweet sent out a day ago from the victim's account said, "By the time this is seen, I'm dead." It also had the suicide prevention number on it, 1800-273-8255, with the hashtag "DontDoIt". 

Chief Olson says it's truly heartbreaking to see that multiple messages have been out there on social media before the tragedy.

"It's a tragic, horrible situation and we just wish that people who were seeing these things on social media would have given us a call, given their parents a call, call the suicide prevention line,  just get a hold of somebody, so at least we can get with the family, get with him and see if there's something we can help him out with. You never ever want this kind of end," he says.

The Cedar Falls Community School District sent an email to parents saying there are counselors available to help students who need someone to talk to.

If you or someone you know has been talking about suicide, please call the national hotline at 1800-273-8255.

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