Blue Whale Challenge Central Valley teen death; Deadly social media game
BAKERSFIELD, Calif —
It's a deadly social media game that children are truly dying to play. No one knows this better than a Bakersfield family. This family wants you to know about something called the 'Blue Whale Game'. Fox 26 your hometown news connection uncovers how this game led a bright and talented teenager to commit suicide.
De Angelo Bristow's parents are warning other parents about the dangers of what's the 'Blue Whale Challenge". It started in Europe and it's reported that many teens have killed themselves after playing it. It's now reached the West coast of the U.S. and De Angelo's parents are now breaking their silence.
14-year-old's parents continue to grieving after his death in October. It's pain that De Angelo's parents Maria and Anthony Bristow don't want other parents to feel they say that all the signs surrounding De Angelo's death point to the Blue Whale Challenge.
"This is our future. Our life is not the same without our child it's empty. I just have a hole in my heart," said Maria Bristow.
It's a social media game that pushes teens to act out certain harmful tasks. The last one is suicide.
"The way we found De Angelo, the table facing him. It just makes sense," said Maria Bristow.
That's no game at all. This is how it happens, teens search the Blue Whale Challenge online. They’re hooked up with a game administrator. That person contacts the game seeker by phone. They then get set up to do things, things designed to harm them over the span of 50 days. The game starts off easy and over time gets more dangerous. The rule is a gamer doesn't get to the next level until the assigned task is complete.
"He texted my other niece and mentioned the Blue Whale Challenge. You need to look into that," said Maria Bristow.
Now, De Angelo's parents wants his death to be a wake-up call for parents to know about this dark game without a winning outcome.
"I want to let parents know to check kids and see if they change the codes in their tablets of their computers because his code was changed, "said Maria Bristow.
De Angelo was a freshman at Mission Early High School. He had interests in computer technology and karate. His parents say their love for De Angelo is the strength they've held on to. They say they want to warn other parents about the challenge so they don’t end up like them.
"Parents need to know what's going on. I want parents to just speak about it and not be quiet about it. There are hundreds of parents, thousands of parents who don't know anything about this challenge,” said Anthony Bristow.
Again, the Bristows are telling parents to get involved right now. They say check your teen's social media accounts and demand their passwords. They say making your children a little angry might just save their lives.
So, what traits should parents look for in their kids? Things like losing interest in activities they used to enjoy or wanting to be by themselves. Also body injuries like bruises, marks, and cuts of hurting themselves. Plus eating poorly or not eating at all and changes in sleep.