November 21, 2008

Florida Teen Commits Suicide On Webcam

A Florida teen used a webcam to live-stream his suicide by drug overdose on Wednesday, authorities reported Friday. 

Abraham Biggs Jr., 19,  was reportedly encouraged by others on the Web site, they said.

Biggs was found in the bedroom of his home in Pembroke Pines, Florida, on Wednesday.  An autopsy later revealed the teen died of a lethal mix of opiates and benzodiazepine, a drug used to treat insomnia and anxiety, according to the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office.

"We have ruled it a suicide. Part of the terminal event was recorded on a website and there was streaming video," said Dr. Steve Cina, deputy chief medical examiner of Broward County.

Authorities did not release any further details, but a police spokesman said detectives were investigating the case.

Biggs had written blogs about his suicidal intentions, and some who were watching the event live may have encouraged him, said Cina.

"There is some indication of that, yes."

"People were egging him on and saying things like 'go ahead and do it, faggot,' Wendy Crane, an investigator at the Broward County Medical Examiner's office, told ABC news.

Briggs had been posting to an online body-building message board,  and had linked to his Web site where cameras rolled as he overdosed on prescription pills, Crane said.

The video and blog postings have since been removed, but Crane, who has seen both, said that viewers initially believed the suicide was a hoax.

"The bloggers said that Biggs had threatened to kill himself before and had faked it, so at first they didn't believe him," Crane told ABC news.

"Gradually, as you read the blog further into the day the bloggers start commenting on how Biggs isn't moving."

Miami television station WPLG posted a suicide note on its website purportedly written by Biggs that said: "I hate myself and I hate living."

The note said he had "thought about and attempted suicide many times in the past."

Another Broward County suicide was broadcast live on the Internet a few years ago, according to The Miami Herald newspaper.  And last year in Britain, a 42-year-old man committed suicide in front of a webcam in what was believed to be the country's first suicide on the Internet.   Viewers saw the man step up onto a chair, tie a rope around a ceiling joist and hang himself.