A Florida teenager killed himself by overdosing on drugs in front of a live online audience as some computer users egged him on, some debated his method, and others tried to talk him out of it.
Abraham Biggs, 19, died on Wednesday at his home from a toxic combination of opiates and benzodiazepine, a drug used to treat insomnia and depression, said Wendy Crane, an investigator with the Broward County medical examiner’s office.
Authorities say Biggs is not the first person to commit suicide with a webcam rolling.
It’s unclear how many people were watching through the Website bodybuilding.com. Someone finally notified a site moderator, who pinpointed the Biggs’ location and called police, but they arrived too late to save him, Crane said.
Biggs, who used the screen name “CandyJunkie” on the bodybuilding Website, started blogging about plans to kill himself 12 hours before he was found lying dead on his bed. He posted a link from bodybuilding.com to Justin.tv, a site that allows users to broadcast live videos from their webcams.
Some users who read the blog told investigators that they did not take him seriously because he had threatened suicide on the site before.
But Biggs’ family was infuriated that neither viewers nor the site acted sooner to save him.
“When (police) came in, the webfeed stopped. So that’s 12 hours of watching,” said his sister, Rosalind Biggs, who said her brother, struggled with bipolar disorder. “They got hits, they got viewers, nothing happened for hours.”
Rosalind Biggs described her brother as a friendly, social, outgoing person who struck up conversations with Starbucks baristas and enjoyed taking his young nieces to Chuck E. Cheese.