MADISON, W.Va. — The grief endured by a Boone County family after the tragic suicide of a teenager is being magnified by rumors on social media.

The 16-year-old student at Sherman High School took his life Monday. Soon after the incident, deputies said Facebook and other social media sources lit up with remarks about his death possibly being linked to bullying.

“The volume of traffic on Facebook for this area is unreal,” said Boone County Chief Deputy Chad Barker. “But we’re getting zero calls into the office.”

Barker and his team have been handling the investigation of the teen’s death and are aware of the claims. However, they have little to act on since all of it is being made behind the veil of Facebook.

“There have been things that have been put out there that aren’t accurate,” said Barker. “That hurts the family.”

The boy’s family is dealing with the difficult struggle, but Barker said the rumors and the false claims in cyberspace are making what is already a horrible situation much worse.

“If somebody has information, why can’t the call us and give it to us instead of putting it on Facebook?” Barker said. “If somebody has information on why this child may have taken his life, we’ll be more than willing to listen to that and investigate that.”


bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Tina Marshall

    My thoughts and prayers go out to this family. I pray that those around them will be there and they can be shielded from what others are saying. In a period of 5 months in Marion County in 2011, we lost 4 teenagers to suicide. One of them was my 18 year old son. At this point the family just needs to grieve. I hope whatever investigation is going on takes the family's pain in to consideration.

    • Beckie

      Tina: So kind of you to share your thoughts since you have gone thru this. I just want to tell you that I am thinking of you. I pray all those support this family and sheild them from any further pain. One day they will have encouraging words for others such as you do.