Mitch Bowie, who was only 18 years old, killed himself after being “catfished” via Facebook.
For those unfamiliar with the term, catfishing is when you lure a person into a relationship using social media via a fictional persona.
Mitch’s body was actually found by the young man’s own brother in late July of 2016. The young man was found at his family home, located in Redcar.
His family, who has been working for justice in this case, stated that Mitch had been communicating with a girl “from Liverpool” using Facebook, and she had told Mitch to kill himself.
According to Mitch’s family, the pair had never actually met. Whoever she was, she constantly made excuses not to meet up with Mitchell.
The girl also claimed to know people in Manchester who intended to “stab him”.
The threats got worse—the girl allegedly told Mitch that she was going to burn down his family’s home.
According to reports, Mitch’s sister Sinead said that the girl was stalking Mitchell. She had really messed with his mind, and she would also tell him to kill himself.
According to Jay, Mitch’s brother, the woman would also constantly call the house phone.
The story only gets worse, as apparently the catfish also had a “cousin”, and that “cousin” began contacting Mitch.
On the night before Mitch’s body was found, the aforementioned “cousin” sent a picture of Mitch to his family—he was preparing to kill himself.
According to Sinead, police have not yet taken a detailed examination of who or what the “catfish” actually is. The alleged cousin won’t even say who she is or where she comes from.
Sinead believes that the girls are not who they claim to be, and the Facebook “girlfriend” is actually a fake person. She also believes that the “cousin” is actually the “girlfriend”, adding that police still “haven’t found her”.
Clare Bailey, the coroner in this case, said that the fact the aforementioned photo was sent to family and not the police suggests his suicidal threats weren’t taken seriously by whomever sent it.
At one point, Claire asked Mitch’s family if they believed Mitch was scared for his life. According to Lisa, his mother, he certainly was.
Police did attempt to interview “the cousin” after Mitch’s death; that said, as there were not any suitable adults present when they attempted to do so, the police decided they shouldn’t press “too hard” for the information they needed. Authorities did not press any charges.
The so-called “cousin” is now refusing to make a statement to law enforcement.
Prior to his death, Mitch worked for his father’s roofing company. He is survived by four siblings.
We’ve discussed suicide a lot lately, and we’ve reported on several people who have been upset enough with their circumstances that they tragically took their own lives.
A few facts: men actually succeed when it comes to taking their lives far more often than women do, and men account three quarters of suicide-related deaths.
The most common form of suicide in the United Kingdom is hanging—at least according to 2015 statistics. There were well over 6,000 suicides in the United Kingdom that year, and the highest suicide rate was for men in their early 40’s.
There are resources available for those considering suicide. A simple search can get people the help they desperately need. There’s an organization called the Samaritans in the United Kingdom who offer confidential support.
Also, there is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States, which can be called 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. Calling that hotline puts people in touch with a trained crisis counselor who should be able to adequately assist those struggling with the idea of ending their lives.
There are more questions than answers in regard to Mitch’s case. It is possible—perhaps even likely—that the “cousin” in this case was also the online girlfriend, but there’s a very good chance we may never know for sure. His family certainly believes that to be the case.
What we can know for sure is that catfishing is a trend that absolutely needs to end immediately. Messing with someone using the internet is never okay; if you do so, you may contribute to a truly tragic situation—like the one Mitch’s family has been living through for well over a year.
H/T – Source
And remember guys! If you need to talk we are here for you. You can email us or call National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255