Internet Has Become A Suicide Forum

Wednesday, December 10th 2008, 9:52 pm
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Loren, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa police are in a race against time trying to find a teenager who posted a message online Wednesday morning saying he was about to kill himself.

It turns out the internet has become a forum for people with suicidal thoughts and the end results can be tragic.

Sergeant Tim Stadler thumbs through a disturbing report. An 18-year-old says he is about to commit suicide.

"We do take those type of threats seriously. There's no reason not to, especially if the person is going to actually put it online knowing in this day and age that we can track it back to where you're at," said Sgt. Tim Stadler.

And that's exactly what Stadler is doing. The teenager posted his suicide threat on a forum at The website flagged the posting and one of their employees called Tulsa police.

"Our dispatch gets ahold of us. We then do the background research to locate exactly where that person is or was at the time they posted that threat to commit suicide," said Sgt. Stadler.

After a trip to the computer users address police have not been able to find this teenager and they're worried about him.

"Anytime someone, a young person, will actually post out on the internet that they're going to harm themselves we're concerned. Until we can locate them talk to them, make sure they're OK," said Sgt. Stadler.

Time is of the essence.

In a recent case in Florida, a teenager threatened to kill himself on a live web cam. By the time police found him it was too late.

The internet has become a forum for everything and detectives say that includes suicide. There's even an internet group called alt suicide holiday where forum members trade methods of suicide.

"The problem is within the internet world now days the sky is the limit. There are no boundaries on what's out there," said Sgt. Stadler.

Detectives say the teenager who posted the threats in Tulsa may have been using someone else's wireless internet.

That's making it very difficult for them to track him down and get him help.