Boy, 15, kills himself after being ‘blackmailed over photos he sent on Facebook’


A teenage boy killed himself after being blackmailed over photos he had sent on Facebook, it has been claimed.

Riley Basford, 15, died in Potsdam, New York state after being “bombarded” with online threats over the “personal” pictures that he had sent on social media, his family said.

His mother Mary Rodee told the Waterford Daily Times: “I will not go to my grave without honouring Riley every day of my life because he did not want to do.

“He couldn’t reason out what was happening to him and it was happening so fast. They put him into such a panic that he went out of his mind.”



His family has spoken out to warn other parents about the potential dangers of social media
His family has spoken out to warn other parents about the potential dangers of social media

Ms Rodee said her said had been talking with someone on Facebook while posing as someone else. The teen eventually ended up sending the person “personal snapshots”, the report said.

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Riley was then told he had to give the person $3,500 (£2,500) or the private images would be shared with his family, friends and on social media.

He died at his dad Darren’s house, who said: “They continued to bombard him and bombard him, and finally they broke him.

“He thought this was the only way out because he didn’t want to be embarrassed.”

It is reported that Riley killed himself on March 30 within hours of receiving the threats.

His mum and dad are now warning other parents about the dangers of social media.

Mr Basford said: “I want to get the message out to parents that there is no safe social media. You need to talk to your kids about all social media, know who they’re talking to and have the kids know who they’re talking to.”

Facebook has been contacted for comment.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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